More police officers die each year in patrol car crashes than at the
hands of criminals, and most of the time the accidents occur when the
officers are not speeding to an emergency, a new study says.
the researchers say the number of deaths could be reduced if police
departments did more to encourage officers to use seat belts. The
authors of the report, in The Journal of Trauma, reviewed hundreds of
police car accidents across the country from 1997 to 2001 and also
found that officers involved in crashes were 2.6 times as likely to be
killed if they were not wearing seat belts…
Dr. Jehle said that officers who were interviewed for the study were
surprised to find that about 60 percent of the deaths occurred during
routine driving. They tend to view the car as a haven. "It’s their
office," he said. "They’re in it all the time."
Here is The New York Times story.