U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Police Roadside Safety

Date Published
July 12, 2017

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.

Between 2008 and 2017, 554 law enforcement officers died in traffic-related events. This figure, which comprises close to 40 percent of the total officer fatalities during that time period [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.

[note 1]Causes of Law Enforcement Deaths, National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. (Accessed January 16, 2019)

[note 2]U.S. Fire Administration, Firefighter Fatalities in the United States in 2008, September 2009. (Accessed February 25, 2010)

National Institute of Justice, "Police Roadside Safety," July 12, 2017, nij.ojp.gov:
Date Created: August 13, 2019