Dallas, TX (Press Release)—It is widely believed that police officers are killed more often by altercations with suspects, gunshots, and other criminal activities, when in fact more officers are killed in line-of duty car crashes while not wearing their seat belts. Amy K. Witherite, a prominent Dallas, Texas automobile accident lawyer reports, police officers believe that seat belts could become a problem when trying to exit the cruiser at a seconds notice, or when they is unruly suspect in the backseat, but do not stop to think what could happen if they were involved in a crash, as reported by the Houston Chronicle.
Data provided by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) http://www.ntsb.gov/ revealed that across the United States at least 64 police officers have died from 2004 to 2008; with 40-percent of those officers who sustained fatal injures were not wearing their seat belts during that time period. In Texas alone, five out of 13 officers who were killed during an automobile crash in 2007 were unbuckled at the time. Over the past three years, 18 Texas police officers were killed in car and motorcycle crashes, while only 16 officers were killed by gunshots. A 2006 informal study in the Journal of Trauma: Injury, Infection and Critical Care, they study the popular syndicated COPS television series, in which they found that officer buckle up less than 40 percent of the time, with 20 percent of the officers killed between 1997 and 2001 were not wearing their seatbelts. An analyst for the Internal Association of Chiefs of Police estimated that about one third of officers fail to fasten their seatbelt.