As the temperatures drop and snow and ice come and go – part of the traditionally fickle weather of Fort Campbell – driving conditions and safety hazards change as well.
For those only driving locally, Johnnie Shaver, tactical safety manager for Fort Campbell, said drivers should expect delays.
“They should leave early enough to get from point A to point B in a sufficient amount of time without hurrying,” he said.
He said people should drive more defensively than normal “because people are going to do stupid things.”
Black ice is also a potential threat during winter months. Drivers should be prepared to move safely out of the way, Shaver said.
He also warned against standing on the edge of the road if you experience car trouble or an accident.
“There was a Soldier killed about two years ago while he was standing on the edge of the interstate. If you are broken down, turn on your flashers and try to call for help instead,” he said.
Fort Campbell has a road condition warning system to indicate the safety level on post. If the road conditions are black, only emergency vehicles are allowed on the roads. If the conditions are red, only emergency and mission-essential personnel are allowed to operate on post. Amber conditions indicate a moderate risk and drivers should be cautious.
“If you are essential personnel you would have already been told so by your supervisor,” said Maj. Daryl Sides, Installation Provost Marshal. “If you still think this could be you, you need to talk to your supervisor and ask them.”
According to an article in the most recent Installation Management Command fall and winter safety brochure, it’s important to make sure your vehicle is properly serviced for cold weather. Check the battery and make sure all fluid levels are correct.
Make sure the tires have enough tread depth to provide traction in rain, slush and snow You can do this by inserting a quarter into the tire tread, with the top of George Washington’s head pointed toward the center of the tire. If you can see the top of Washington’s head when you do this, you should have a mechanic or technician check the tires. Also check the tire pressure and add air if needed.
Cool temperatures can result in lower tire pressures and underinflated tires.
The article also put out a list of suggested items to keep in your vehicle:
• An ice scraper/brush combination
• Small shovel
• Sand, salt, or kitty litter (for traction)
• Tow rope or chain
• A couple of blankets
• Galoshes and gloves
• Flashlight and extra batteries
• Jumper cables
• First aid kit
• Road flares or reflectors
• Fire extinguisher
Extra food and water should also be kept in the vehicle, said Johnnie Shaver, tactical safety manager for Fort Campbell. This is an especially good idea if you are making long trips, as well as checking ahead for route and weather conditions. Also ensure someone knows where you are going and your estimated time of arrival.
For weather conditions in the area, go to www.campbell.army.mil . This page also contains information on post closing. Fort Campbell road conditions can be obtained by calling (270) 798-ROAD. Local radio and TV stations will also give updates on weather conditions, delays and closings.