Two Sheriff’s Office patrol vehicles were damaged and a driver was hospitalized following a collision on Sunday, Feb. 7. The police cruisers were parked on the side of the road when they were struck by the suspected intoxicated driver.
Analyzing the Cause of the Car Accident
Harris County deputies report that they received a call about a stranded motorist in the northbound lanes of the Eastex Freeway early on Sunday morning. They responded to the call and were waiting with the stranded driver on the shoulder of the freeway when their vehicles were struck.
According to authorities, a white van traveling northbound on Eastex collided with the two patrol cruisers before 5:30 a.m. near Aldine Mail Route Road. Neither the deputies nor the stranded driver were injured in the incident, but the driver of the van was hospitalized and is stable.
Deputies report that they suspect the driver of the van may have been intoxicated at the time of the crash.
Police Officer Involved Auto-Accidents in Texas
While no police officers were hurt in the incident described above, auto accident injuries are unfortunately common for those in law enforcement. In fact, between May 1 and Nov. 30, 2020, nearly 400 collisions involving police occurred in Houston alone, according to ABC13.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, however, this danger extends far beyond the city limits.
In 2019, nearly 2,600 police vehicles and motorcycles were involved in auto accidents in Texas. Luckily, a very small percentage of those accidents resulted in fatalities, less than half of one percent.
In fact, police-involved crashes were actually less likely to result in injuries relative to other accidents. Overall, 36% of Texas auto accidents result in some form of injury. Meanwhile, 32% of police-involved crashes resulted in injuries in 2019.
Many of these collisions occur when police cruisers are responding to an emergency or making a traffic stop. However, accidents can also happen when police are in high-speed pursuit of a suspect.
Many police chases only come to an end once the suspect’s vehicle has been totaled. This can, unfortunately, lead to considerable collateral damage and the injury of innocent bystanders and drivers.
Incidents like these underline how important it is to drive carefully when you hear sirens or see police lights. While you probably can’t avoid an out-of-control suspect, you can make sure you’re being as safe as possible in a potentially dangerous situation. After all, emergency vehicles are twice as likely to be involved in an accident when they are actively responding to an emergency. This shows how important it is to give these vehicles room.
To help our clients stay as safe as possible while on Texas roadways, Lapeze & Johns have created a guide to sharing the road with emergency vehicles. Keep these tips in mind when traveling near police cars, ambulances, and firetrucks, and share our guide with your loved ones to help them stay safe, too.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident in Texas, contact the Houston car accident attorneys of Lapeze & Johns to learn about the process for seeking legal relief.