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Health and Fitness

It Could Happen to You

"Last thing I remembered was this is going to be a good day."

When YN1(SW) Erica Backer jumped on her motorcycle she had no idea that within 10 minutes her whole life would change. She was driving safely, she was wearing protective headgear, and she was obeying the rules of the road; and in the past, that had been enough. However, not only those on motorcycles need to be concerned with motorcycle safety. Despite her precautions, a traffic accident left her down on the road with the left side of her face broken from the chin bone all the way up to her eye socket. A helmet saved her life, but not her eye. Click on the video above to hear her story.

In fiscal year (FY) 2012, 20 Sailors and Marines lost their lives in motorcycle accidents. As of May 10, 2013, as the spring and summer motorcycle riding season was beginning, that number for FY 2013 stood at 18. Department of the Navy leadership believes preventable deaths like these are simply unacceptable. They have reinvigorated Navy and Marine Corps efforts to ensure the safe use of motor vehicles and motorcycles with the expectation that senior Sailors and Marines set the example of zero tolerance for: unsafe driving, failure to comply with requirements and regulations, and drinking and driving. Under the 21st Century Sailor and Marine initiative, it is expected that leaders at all levels will establish formal policy to ensure any drinking and driving infraction is properly reviewed prior to promotion.

Safety is an important element of the 21st Century Sailor and Marine initiative, which consolidates a set of objectives and policies, new and existing, to maximize Sailor and Marine personal readiness, build resiliency and hone the most combat-effective force in the history of the Navy and Marine Corps. The Department of the Navy is working to aggressively to ensure today's Sailors and Marines serve in the safest, most secure force the Department has ever known.

For the latest statistics on personal motor vehicle fatalities as well as narratives, visit the Naval Safety Center's website here.

Help raise awareness by joining the conversation on social media using
#NavySmartRide and #Motorcycle.