American police squad cars are a little different than your average car. They come with a lot of added bells and whistles, frequently added after most of the vehicle’s safety features have been tested. This can mean added weight, less stability and comfort and a variety of other aspects that are worth considering. Some of that can impact the safety of the car though, especially when loaded up with a couple of officers and criminals.
To help make sure that doesn’t put officers’ lives at risk, PoliceOne recently broke down some of the best things that officers can do to make sure they stay safe in their wacky races-like police cruiser.
First and foremost, limit the amount of equipment in the car. When a vehicle first rolls off the manufacturer’s floor, it’s got all of its gadgets hidden away, or stowed safely. With a police car, there’s added radios, speed guns, potentially real firearms too, stowed often without much consideration for safety. Equipment that isn’t nailed down can come flying out at you if you get into an accident or brake sharply and that goes doubly for those that don’t wear seatbelts (you should).
Ultimately, the best advice for your cruiser, is if has a piece of equipment you haven’t used for six months, get rid of it. It’s likely to do far more damage to you just sitting in the car than its absence would.
Secondly, ask yourself if anything if in your car could cause hurt in case of an accident of high speed pursuit. Will that bottle roll under your pedals, or what happens if that pen on the dashboard comes flying at your face? Consider situations outside of the norm and adapt your vehicle to make sure it’s able to handle them safely.
Wear a seatbelt. It’s obvious. Everyone should do it. You can’t help anyone if you’re injured in a crash or other incident.
Try and have equipment integrated. Some of the best police vehicles in the world are designed and modified with extra equipment in mind. It ends up being built into the dashboard, or secured properly so that it won’t move in the case of an accident. If your vehicle isn’t like that, talk to someone and see if you can get it done. Maybe that radio can be nailed down or the handset given a more secure cradle.
Of course cost is going to come into play with something like this, but you don’t want to be knocked out when your receiver comes flying at you at 60MPH, so it’s worth having the conversation.
It might seem silly or unnecessary, but there are a lot of potential head injuries and long-standing health issues caused by them, that could be prevented if more care was taken in the way officers manage their vehicles. Consider it if you find yourself in one. The front that is, if you’re in the back, I doubt comments on the car’s interior are going to help you much.
Image Source: Open Road Films, Tom Worthington