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Marines at Twentynine Pines considered high-risk drivers

A tragic irony involving U.S. Marines is being reported by ABC News. More service members from the Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms in California have been lost in the United States than at war overseas in the last seven years. Specifically, 64 soldiers have perished in car accidents, homicides, training accidents and drownings while stateside, compared to 60 service members killed while in the Middle East.

The largest number of deaths stem from auto accidents. Highway 62, the stretch of highway that links Arizona to California, has become an infamous route as 12 Marines have been killed in crashes on this highway alone. Overall, 28 people have been killed in car accidents. 

Marines at Twentynine Palms who are aged 25 years or younger are considered high-risk drivers, so they are required to take defensive driving classes. The same applies to those who have motorcycles.  Since 2007, fatal off-duty accidents in the Marine Corps have dropped by 50 percent, but the rate has remained steady at the Twentynine Palms base.

Despite the risks involved in their jobs and the fast-paced lifestyles some Marines live, there is still a duty to use reasonable care while behind the wheel. This means that drivers should refrain from using alcohol before driving, stay off cell phones and limit distractions while behind the wheel and avoid driving at excessive speeds.

If a driver fails use reasonable care, and such a failure is the proximate cause of an accident, the offending driver could be held liable for the ensuing injuries. 

Source: ABC “Report: California Marines dying in car crashes,” March 24, 2014

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