What’s the Most Dangerous Thing About Being a Cop? Traffic

Via Sheriff magazine:

The death of law enforcement officers (LEOs) in motor vehicle crashes have increased by 48% in the past 28 years. Between the years 2005 to 2007, 54% of all LEO deaths “in the line of duty” were motor vehicle crash involved. When comparing the fatality rate of LEOs to the general population, during the years from 1996 to 1999 LEOs deaths by motor vehicle crashes were at the same or lower rate than the general population. Since the year 2000 the fatality rate for the general population has steadily declined, but the LEO fatality rate has been increasing.

This entry was posted on Monday, August 9th, 2010 at 9:00 am and is filed under Traffic safety. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

4 Responses to “What’s the Most Dangerous Thing About Being a Cop? Traffic”

  1. Jason Says:

    Interesting. I wonder what percentage of the collisions/fatalities resulted from driver error (vs catching badguys). Police often say they have the most dangerous occupation (which is not true) and that they put their lives on the line every day. Yet, if most on the job deaths are from car crashes that could be prevented (or have little to do with law enforcement), it would make a great case for a) more community policing with walking beat cops and 2) a more reasonable perspective on the role of police in the community

  2. Opus the Poet Says:

    Part of the increase is because LEO spend so much time on the roads, which increases their exposure, and a big part is the amount of time LEO spend out of their cars on the roads. A major cause of the reduction in general road fatalities has been that cars are safer to crash in then ever before. The standard now is to drive into a concrete wall at 35 MPH, wait for the dust to settle, open the doors and walk away without a scratch. A person outside the car when struck @ 35 MPH has a better than 60% chance of death, and a certainty of serious injury requiring hospitalization.

  3. David Hembrow Says:

    Sort of related, I read some years ago that sales reps for companies in the UK had a higher rate of death at work than coal miners. Again this was due to their exposure to the risk of driving. Sales reps are very high mileage drivers.

  4. Forrest Says:

    What would explain the difference between LEO fatality behind the wheel 15 years ago, compared to today? Is it the computers that are being put in police cruisers? Is it a more dangerous driving environment generally?

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Traffic Tom Vanderbilt

How We Drive is the companion blog to Tom Vanderbilt’s New York Times bestselling book, Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us), published by Alfred A. Knopf in the U.S. and Canada, Penguin in the U.K, and in languages other than English by a number of other fine publishers worldwide.

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