Christer Philipson, Körglädje och säkerhet i Sydväst Jörgen Lundälv,Docent i trafikmedicin, Institutionen för kirurgisk och perioperativ vetenskap, Umeå universitet
To describe and analyze the characteristics of policevehicle crashes that occur in rural versus urban areas in Västra Götaland County Police, Sweden.
• What is the probability that a police vehicle will be involved in a collision?• What causes can be identified in the investigation of police cars accidents during 1998-2007?• How do we reduce the possibility of deaths and injuries by police cars?
Our study includes all injury data registered in FIMPbetween February 1998 and December 31, 2007,comprising a total of 2.424 accident reports.
A total of 18 accidents involving police vehicles in which policemen sustained severe personal injuries occurred between 1998 and 2007.The majority of these accidents, 67% (N=12), occurred in urban environments, while six occurred in rural towns.
In three cases the police vehicle had been travelingtoo fast in an urban intersection. Lack of attentivenesswas also a cause of police car collisions in urbanenvironments.Two of the accidents occurred in traffic light-controlledintersections. The accidents in rural areas were causedby skidding while passing, and by driving too fast.
Four cases involved emergency responses,with the accidents occurring in intersections.One case involved driver training (in preparation foremergency driving). Common to all the accidents was thefact that the various traffic environments in question wereknown and familiar to the police car drivers. The causesincluded the police vehicle skidding on a slippery roadsurface.
Asking a number of questions provides, in our view,a simple and clear picture of a police car driversrisk exposure. A. What could happen? B. What is the worst that could happen? C. How likely is it? D. What would you do then? E. Can you prevent it from happening? F. Can it be made less serious? G. Can it be made less likely? H. Can you handle the situation if it does occur?
Västra Götaland County Police, Göteborg, SwedenDepartment of Surgical and Perioperative Science, Umeå University, SwedenThe Swedish Road Administration, Borlänge, SwedenThe National Police Board, Stockholm, Sweden