According to a study by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, traffic-related accidents and unprovoked attacks account for the majority of police officer deaths from 2010-2014. The study, which examined the deaths of 684 police officers over a five year span, found that 272 police officers died from being in a crash or being struck by a vehicle. Additionally, the study found that “a large number of the crashes investigated were not related to either a call for service or a case of self-initiated activity.”
The report urged law enforcement agencies to remind their officers to “slow down when responding to calls, wear seat belts, and wear issued body armor,” to reduce fatalities. Overall, law enforcement deaths in 2015 increased by 1% over 2014 and by 9% over 2013. Out of the 123 officer deaths last year, 48 were caused by traffic-related incidents and 41 were the result of shootings.
The second-highest number of police deaths, 134, come from officers being “ambushed” while performing tactical operations, serving warrants, or while carrying out follow-up investigative work. According to CNN, the report stressed the need for better communication between dispatchers and officers responding to calls and also, a heightened awareness because of routine dispatch calls sometimes being used to lure officers into ambush attacks.
Out of the 134 deaths of officers who were responding to dispatch calls, 129 died from gunshot wounds. The rest of the deaths were caused by stab wounds, being run over by a car, or falling from an elevated platform. This report was released at a time when police officer deaths have been in the news frequently following the death of five police officers in Dallas, Texas and three deaths of Baton Rouge, Louisiana in the past couple of weeks.
Police officers are just as likely to get into motor vehicle accidents as anyone. As we have discussed in previous posts, it is required by law to give a lane for emergency vehicles which are stopped on the side of the road. Police officers have a job to do, and drivers can lessen the chance of an accident happening, by complying with rules of the road when emergency vehicles are around. If you or somebody you know has been involved in an accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.