Shelton sends message of safety for holidays

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- 1. Independence Day is a time to celebrate the freedoms and liberties that we enjoy as Americans. Many of you will have time to take some well-deserved time off and participate in a variety of activities. As you enjoy your well-deserved break, do it safely.

2. We want each of you to have an incident-free holiday, so let's make it our goal to have a mishap-free Fourth of July holiday. To meet this goal, we must all take appropriate precautions, especially when operating our vehicles.

3. Automobile mishaps continue to be the biggest threat to our AFSPC family. Last summer, 18 Air Force members, including two AFSPC Airmen, died in vehicle mishaps - six of those AF accidents involved alcohol. Driving distracted, impaired, without seatbelts, or while fatigued, endangers your life, the lives of your passengers, and the lives of your fellow motorists.

4. Almost one in four automobile crashes in America involve cell phone use. According to the national highway traffic safety administration, driving distracted increases accident risk 23-fold.

5. If you're taking a trip, please pay close attention to your level of fatigue. Get plenty of rest and take breaks during the trip. If a passenger, please help the driver stay alert. Remember, driving fatigued is just as dangerous as driving impaired.

6. Motorcyclists, please stay focused when you ride. Drive defensively and always wear your protective equipment. As you well know, it can be the difference between life and death.

7. Finally, please make the right choices this Fourth of July. Know the risks before you act and err on the side of caution and good judgment. I deeply appreciate your dedication and I am proud to work alongside each of you. Enjoy your Independence Day celebrations and let's all be safe.

General Shelton