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LODD: Why do we contine to kill ouselves??


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  • LODD: Why do we contine to kill ouselves??

    Line of duty deaths are up overall 14% over 2013 for the same time period.
    Of this 26 are vehicle crashes, up 37%.

    We drill EVOC into officers continued training, have safer vehicles, pass seatbelt laws, etc. yet still we continue to kill ourselves in car crashes.

    Why do you think this is?

    I realize that some are unavoidable, but data suggest that speed is a huge factor.

    I've always thought it was sometimes driver attitude & ego, especially since a lot of crashes are single vehicle, i.e., vehicle left the roadway and hit a tree/pole/object not involving another vehicle.
    Maybe it's a "it won't happen to me" thing??
    I don't know- what do you think?
    And do you think we can fix it?

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  • #2
    My experience here is that a lot of people, especially newer appointees don't fully appreciate the capabilities of vehicles. I used to be a bit like that myself. The mindset among a lot of coppers is along the lines of 'the faster I go, the quicker I will get there,' and apply this thinking regardless of the road/traffic/weather conditions.

    The most conservative drivers in my agency in my experience are the highway patrol members. Even though we have the most powerful cars and the fewest restrictions on our driving there seems to be more of a mindset about driving smarter instead of driving harder.

    I don't want to have a crack at any copper that has died in a traffic collision because I don't know the full circumstances and I have no experience with American style EVOC training. We use the Roadcraft system. Most of our training is conducted on public roads in unmarked police vehicles.

    I think it's a cultural attitude that needs to change. Successive changes to our driving policies have cut down significantly on fatal collisions involving police cars. The last incident I am aware of where police in my agency were killed in a collision involving their vehicle was 14 years ago and owed quite a lot to the design of the vehicle. There's a huge emphasis now on 'Safety First' in all aspects of operating, including driving. It is always stressed that nothing is worth driving in a way that puts your safety at risk. Members are expected to continually assess the risks against their objective and consider whether high speed driving is really necessary.

    My driving instructors always emphasised that the most effective way to drive is using precision and being methodical. There is no need to rush. Quite a few members leave driver training and remember the driving fast part but forget about the precision part.


    • #3
      The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published a report, Characteristics of Law Enforcement Officers’ Fatalities in Motor Vehicle Crashes in 2011. It used FARS data from 1980 to 2008. The report deals with the whats, not the whys.

      A few points struck me:
      • Forty-two percent of the police passenger vehicles and 37 percent of police motorcycles with LEO fatalities were using lights/sirens at time of crash.
      • The percent of the police passenger vehicles with LEO fatalities that collided with fixed objects steadily increased from 23 percent in the 1980s to 35 percent in the 2000s.
      • The ejected LEO fatalities increased 9 percentage points from 16 percent in the 1990s to 25 percent in the 2000s because rollovers increased 4 percentage points (from 27% in the 1990s to 31% in the 2000s) and restraint use decreased 6 percentage points (from 56% in the 1990s to 50% in the 2000s).
      • California and Texas have the highest level of LEO fatalities over all these periods. The number of LEO fatalities shows an increasing trend in Tennessee, Louisiana, North Carolina, Illinois, Oklahoma, Missouri, New Jersey, and Virginia. On the other hand, the number of LEO fatalities has decreased gradually in New York.


      • #4
        Slow the hell down! We don't need to drive quite so fast, even to emergencies. It's an old line, but if you crash on the way to the call, you can't help anyone. A lot of us are driving way too fast - adrenaline, mission-driven, competitive, Type A personalities.

        It's okay to drive safely and arrive 12 seconds later. It's okay to call off a pursuit. It's okay to go home at the end of your shift.
        Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

        I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq


        • #5
          You'll get there faster if you GET THERE.

          The old analogy is the motorsports saying. "Before you win the race, you have to finish the race!"
          When you are dead, you don't know you're dead. It is difficult only for the others around you.

          It is the same when you are stupid.


          • #6
            Originally posted by swat_op506 View Post
            Maybe it's a "it won't happen to me" thing??
            In our greater Western culture, we are taught to develop optimism and to "think positive".
            That might work in some things, but not when it comes to safety and security: here, you have to think negatively: what can go wrong, what is likely to go wrong, and keep rehearsing bad events and fill up your mind with unpleasant things: this is in conflict with what our culture teaches us. But I think it gets worse: the concept of "think positive" has a tendency to evolve into "it won't happen to me" (because this may be more appealing to one's ego).
            Last edited by Max K; 06-19-2014, 03:50 PM.

            List of Islamic terror attacks in the last 30 days


            • #7
              From what I've seen in ride a longs I've noticed a lot of officers refrain from wearing their seat belts.


              • #8
                If one is to believe the NHTSA report, & I have no reason to doubt it,the underlying fact in the stats presented is that the LEOs involved simply didn't think it could happen to them. That mindset starts early on in training & is a partial characteristic of those entering LE & for good reason------it's necessary. Without that mindset LE tasks couldn't be accomplished as LEOs are constantly asked to go into unwinnable situations & expected to come out on top. I have no problem with that.
                I think what does need to be is a HUGE increase in driver training, remedial training and qualify to drive as much as you have to qualify with your firearm. THAT & not enough unarmed self-defense being taught are my gripes about current LEO training. But these things take time & cost money. Management isn't about to commit the finances to handle that, figuring it's cheaper to "play the odds" & hope their officers don't crash & kill themselves or others. So how do we solve this problem?
                IMO, peer pressure. Instead of patting your fellow officer on the back for catching someone after a pursuit ask him : "Are you nuts? You know what could've gone wrong there?"
                This "shaming" (?) and public criticism BY PEERS could perhaps work better than any discipline by their supervisors. Why? Because the officer expects it from his bosses, not from one of his "own". This is a small & very minor way to get LEOs to think about their driving & such a "program" (?) would take time to sink in. BUt from a management point of view, how about this: At the end of each month how about telling the troops how much it's appreciated no one wrecked or got into any pursuits. It's a small thing but one many officers appreciate, knowing their bosses appreciate what they don't do, as much as what they do........


                • #9
                  The crown victoria is front-engine, rwd. You can make it a bit safer to drive by rebuilding it to be mid-engine, 4wd. But that means taking out the back seats, and stuffing suspects into the trunk.


                  • #10
                    I can only speak for my dept. (1200 sworn) But our drivers training sucks. You would think that for people who spend as much time in a car as police do, that we would have better and more frequent drivers training. The only time we get EVOC is in the academy and its a 40hr course that IMO could be improved. Driving is a skill as much as firearms is. We have to qualify with our duty weapons twice a year, every year until you retire, yet the only time we drive is in the academy.

                    Alot of collisions could be avoided. There are small things that I know for a fact are not taught consistently in class. Example, I HATE when im going lights & siren and another police car comes up beside me at an intersection to pass me, which in the end would only get him on scene 5 seconds before me. Another big thing i see is not stopping at red lights or stop signs just because their emergency equipment is on. Then theres officers who feel the need to go mach 1 to any and every call for service even a simple report.
                    Last edited by lpstopper; 06-20-2014, 01:31 AM.
                    "Its not what you know, its what you can prove."-Training Day

                    "Game on, bitches. Whoop whoop, flash the lights, pull it over."


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mulgrave600 View Post
                      We use the Roadcraft system.
                      This is worth a closer look! Roadcraft is the official UK driver training system for police, fire, and EMS. It's much more comprehensive than what we have in the USA.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Seventy2002 View Post
                        This is worth a closer look! Roadcraft is the official UK driver training system for police, fire, and EMS. It's much more comprehensive than what we have in the USA.
                        I gripe pretty regularly about some of our training and equipment but our driver training is one of our best courses. To qualify for doing emergency and pursuit driving up to a maximum of 150km/h requires completion of a two week course. This grants the basic 'silver' licence. To get the advanced 'gold' licence requires another two week course to be completed.

                        After a bit of searching I found out some stuff about EVOC. My understanding is that it is conducted over a few days and is done entirely on a track.

                        Nearly all of our driver training except mock pursuits and the most elementary training on the first day are conducted on public roads. A typical run starts at the driver training unit in the inner city then goes down a freeway, through the outer suburbs and then through the countryside before stopping at the instructor's favourite bakery and doing it all in reverse.

                        I suppose there can be a risk to training on real roads but I say that the experience of training in real traffic conditions improves safety for everyone.

                        Roadcraft covers everything from the order you do tasks in to the position of your hands and how you steer. Before you even touch the turn signal you need to have checked the rear view and side mirror. My driving has improved considerably since I had our training.

                        Basically I can't speak highly enough of it!

                        Here's a short demo of Roadcraft in London

                        And another
                        Last edited by Mulgrave600; 06-20-2014, 04:00 AM.


                        • #13
                          Very nice and orderly system.
                          I loved the narrator in the video- very polite.
                          Never once heard a sarcastic remark, or a "GET THE FU&% OUT OF THE WAY"!!

                          By the way- you drive on the wrong side of the road....

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                          • #14
                            The order of 'the system' is absolute. Every time you do anything you're always saying 'mirror signal brake gear, mirror signal brake gear' in the back of your head because this is always the order that you do them when negotiating a hazard. If you miss it the instructor will ping you for it straight away.

                            I wish we did some driving with lights and sirens as in the British system but they draw the line at giving us on road training that realistic. We aren't supposed to disobey any road rules except speed.


                            • #15
                              My first thought, heavily influenced by the fact that I am at the end of a statistics class, is to take this with a grain of salt. These studies have to be conducted correctly to mean anything and even then, they are still not 100% reliable. Also, what is the source of the study? Do they have an axe to grind? Other considerations are things like not accounting for what has changed that could have affected the numbers. For instance, the number of miles driven by officers may have increased significantly during the time period. More time on the road would naturally mean more opportunity for accidents.

                              That being said, it is extremely difficult to change human nature. People continue to smoke (drink overeat, have unprotected sex, etc.) knowing full well those behaviors are risky and probably killing them slowly.

                              It really comes down to personal responsibility. If each person changes themselves, without regard to what others do or do not do, the numbers will change.
                              Those who are successful at what they do don't give a rip about what others think about them.

                              We don't rent pigs.


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