Police Roadside Safety

Understanding and Preventing Officer Fatalities

Learn about a joint NIJ and CDC NIOSH program to prevent officer fatalities by better understanding specific incidents.

More law enforcement officers die each year in traffic incidents than from any other cause, including shootings. Many of these deaths occur on the roadside as officers perform their duties.

In 2009, 56 law enforcement officers died in traffic-related events. This figure, which comprises close to 50 percent of the year's officer fatalities [1], includes on-duty car and motorcycle crashes and officers struck while outside their vehicles.

Roadside safety concerns all first responders, not just police. In 2008, 28 out of the 118 firefighters who died while on duty were killed in vehicle crashes. Another five firefighters were struck and killed by vehicles that year. [2]

NIJ works in partnership with law enforcement agencies, fire service and other agencies toward the shared goal of increasing safety for law enforcement officers, firefighters and other first responders as they perform their duties on the nation's streets and highways.

Date Modified: July 12, 2017