Holiday safety letter Published Dec. 23, 2011 By Senior Master Sgt. Thomas W. Egstad 115th Fighter Wing Safety Office MADISON, Wis. -- Fellow Airmen, On behalf of General Brandemuehl and Wing Safety, we would like to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Please use sound Personnel Risk Management during the holiday season and enjoy the time with your family. We look forward to your safe return from your holiday plans. During this holiday season, please keep these tips in mind: TRAVEL: This holiday American roadways and airports will be busier than usual, so holiday travelers should be sure to pack more patience. Plan ahead and use online travel planning tools like AAA's TripTik Travel Planner, available at AAA.com, to help identify the best driving routes, rest stops, and shop the latest gas prices. Continuously monitor weather conditions along your route and be prepared with contingency plans. Doing your homework could save valuable time, fuel costs, and improve travel safety. DRIVING: Alcohol - Take advantage of this holiday season to celebrate with friends and family, but have a plan in place before your evening begins. Impairment begins with the first sip of alcohol. A designated driver should be alcohol-free, not merely the person in your party who has consumed the least amount of alcohol. Drowsy driving - Get seven to nine hours of sleep before driving. Take a break every 100 miles or two hours. Do not drive during hours when you routinely sleep. If you feel tired while driving, pull over to a safe location and take a 20 to 30 minute nap. Distracted driving - It's the driver's responsibility to keep eyes, mind and body fully focused on the task of driving. Assign a passenger to be the designated texter, talker, and navigator. If traveling alone, pull over to a safe location to use your cell phone or adjust your navigation device, then proceed on your trip distraction free. Child and pet passengers can be distractions to drivers, so allow another adult passenger to interact with these family members. FAMILY: Please think about your safety and the safety of your family. Use sound personal risk management during this holiday season. Remember your decisions affect you and the people that depend on you. Enjoy this holiday season and return home safely!