Fort Gordon puts on safety day to make soldiers more aware

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News 12 at 11 o'clock / Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Fort Gordon's main gate.
Fort Gordon's main gate. (May 2, 2011 / WRDW-TV)

FORT GORDON, Ga. (WRDW) -- It's a taste of the wild and a look into what it's like to be drunk behind the wheel.

"It was an eye-opening experience," said Latoria Brown, a soldier at Fort Gordon.

On Wednesday, she got the ride of her life.

"It just shows you, even if you have a few cocktails or beer or a glass of wine, and the difference that it makes," she said.

The drunk goggles driving test was one of dozens of safety lessons soldiers and civilians got to learn.

Other lessons included boating safety, hot weather safety and motorcycle safety.

Much of it may seem like common sense, but it's most commonly ignored.

"To come out here and to see, you know, how unsafe some of the things we do everyday," Brown said.

Those things are the main cause of injuries among soldiers on base during the summer season.

"Approximately 80 percent of our off-duty accidents occur during the 101 days of summer," said David Pickerell, the safety Manager for the base.

It's a crash course in safety that he knows will keep his soldiers safe and in uniform.

"When we can focus all our efforts into one period of the year and put on a big show type of thing, they're more inclined to pay attention during that period," Pickerell said.

Brown agrees and says a wake-up call for all soldiers is needed.

"Sometimes we just get into that monotony day-to-day routine," she said.

A normal routine, Pickerell says, will lead to carelessness, causing those summertime accidents to happen.

"As folks are more aware of the hazards that are out there, they're a lot better able to deal with them," he said.

So when those summer days come, soldiers on base will know how to play it safe.

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