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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 201967 Find in a Library
Title: Safe Vehicle Stops
Journal: Law and Order  Volume:51  Issue:7  Dated:July 2003  Pages:90-93
Corporate Author: Ford Motor Co
United States of America
Editor(s): Bruce Cameron
Date Published: July 2003
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: Ford Motor Co
Dearborn, MI 48121
Type: Instructional Material; Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based on a series of computer simulations, this article describes the safest placement for a patrol officer's vehicle when making a traffic stop, so as to minimize the chance that the pedestrian officer will be injured by a crash caused by an errant third vehicle striking the patrol car while the officer is conversing with the driver of the stopped vehicle.
Abstract: The studies upon which this article is based involved not only a series of computer simulations by also a verifying physical crash test with vehicles in the same position as the computerized configuration. The recommended stop position for the patrol vehicle is to park at least 15 feet behind the stopped vehicle with a 50-percent overlap (offset left) between the vehicles. The patrol vehicle's steering wheel should be full right, and the vehicle should be parked parallel to the roadway. In the event of a collision between a striking vehicle and the patrol vehicle, the angle of the patrol vehicle's wheels steers the vehicle away from the officer; the spacing of at least 15 feet between the two vehicles allows enough distance for the police vehicle to track away from the officer standing on the driver's side of the stopped vehicle. The left offset and overlap between the police vehicle and the stopped vehicle provides coverage for the officer from oncoming traffic. Parking the patrol vehicle parallel to the roadway presents the smallest target for an errant vehicle while protecting the officer. The orientation described resulted in the highest probability of a pedestrian officer avoiding injury or death from a roadside crash in the course of a vehicle stop. This vehicle orientation yielded a result three times safer than some of the other configurations tested.
Main Term(s): Police policies and procedures
Index Term(s): Police safety; Police safety techniques; Traffic law enforcement; Traffic law enforcement training; Vehicle stops
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