Plan ahead, beat the odds Published June 30, 2012 By Staff Sgt. Krystie Martinez Air Combat Command Public Affairs LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. -- As the first official day of summer kicked off June 20, Air Combat Command has important safety tips for planning summer travel. Proper planning and preparation can help keep Airmen and their families safe during their summer trips and help beat the odds of becoming another statistic. "The Air Force has lost nearly 300 Airmen since 2001 in preventable traffic accidents," said Chief Master Sgt. Yance Childs, Headquarters ACC ground safety chief. "Please invest a few minutes of your time to improve your odds of not joining those ranks." A key tool Childs recommends is the Travel Risk Planning System (TRiPS), an online resource for managing risk while travelling on the nation's highways. Individuals can register with the site, input travel plans, and view TRiPS' personalized travel safety information like driving directions, and links to weather and road conditions. Along with TRiPS, Childs recommends that Airmen know the route they are traveling, maintain a working cell phone, take rest breaks and most importantly individuals should have a minimum of eight hours rest the night prior to traveling. Before driving off, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends inspecting a vehicle's tire pressure, the condition of belts and hoses, wiper blades and headlights. For more information on preparing a vehicle click here. Another key piece to trip planning is home preparation. Before leaving, turn off all electrical appliances, activate security systems and leave travel plans with a supervisor or family member, and ensure someone can watch for suspicious activity around the home and pick up mail. "All it takes is just one bad decision to turn your summer vacation into years of regret and second guessing," said Chief Master Sgt. Gary Carter, 1st Fighter Wing command chief. "Be proactive, assess the risk, plan to minimize the risk and be safe." Original content found here.