LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY

Police Officer Badge on uniform shirt

Motor vehicle-related incidents are a leading cause of line-of-duty deaths for law enforcement officers in the United States – they are also preventable.1 It is important to promote motor vehicle safety among officers so they can stay safe while working to make communities safer.

Did you know?
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From 2005-2017, 775 officers died due to motor vehicle related incidents (struck by and crashes) – 37% of all line-of-duty deaths. (National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund)

Officer Road Code Toolkit
Officer road code toolkit - document number 2019-100

Use and customize these free materials to promote safe driving practices within an agency.

View the toolkit.

Law Enforcement Infographic
LEO Infographic

Learn how officers can prevent crashes and injuries.

Download the infographicpdf icon

Law Enforcement Animated Image
Crashes are a leading cause of officer line-of-duty deaths. Buckle Up. Slow Down. Focus. Remain Calm. Drive to arrive alive. www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/leo

Promote officer road safety. Download the animated image (GIF) to use as part of safety presentations, or display it on electronic message boards.

What job hazards do law enforcement officers face?

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There are more than 750,000 state and local (excluding federal) law enforcement officers.2 These officers face many job hazards, including: physical exertion, psychological and organizational stressors, and health issues. Some behavior-related hazards that put officers at risk of a crash on the job are:

  • Not wearing a seat belt
  • Speeding, particularly through intersections
  • Being distracted while using a mobile data terminal or other electronic device while driving
  • Experiencing tunnel vision from increased stress

What do we know about law enforcement officer crashes?

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In the last 10 years, on average, more than one officer per week has been killed on our nation’s roads (2006-2016 = 64 deaths per year).1 Most years, motor vehicle-related incidents — including crashes and being struck by moving vehicles while on foot — are the main cause of death for officers. 2016 was an anomaly in that motor vehicle-related deaths came second to firearms.

From 2007-2016:1

  • 1,512 officer line-of-duty deaths
  • 460 officer line-of-duty deaths due to vehicle crashes (30% of total)
  • 130 officer line-of-duty deaths due to being struck by a vehicle (9% of total)

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Page last reviewed: September 30, 2019