Law enforcement officers face greatest risk on the highway

Published: Jan. 2, 2014 at 11:10 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 2, 2014 at 11:25 PM EST
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According to records from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, officers face a greater risk on the highway than any other single cause of death, including gunfire.

Within the last 24 hours, two Charleston County Sheriff's deputies were involved in separate car accidents.

The first deputy was injured while responding to a reported armed robbery at a Johns Island Burger King, and is still recovering at MUSC.

The second accident happened when a deputy sheriff's supervisor lost control of his vehicle and hit a utility pole while on his way to the first accident.

Major Florence McCants, a spokeswoman for the Criminal Justice Academy in Columbia, said it's not surprising to hear the number of vehicle-related incidents for law enforcement, given the amount of time they spend in their cars each day.

"You're in that vehicle depending on the shift, anywhere between 8-12 hours a day," she said.  "You're driving your car a whole lot more than you're actually pulling your weapon."

In South Carolina, all officers are required to complete a 12-week training program at the Criminal Justice Academy before receiving their certification.

The training includes courses on how to safely operate a law enforcement vehicle.

McCants said even then, "Accidents do happen."

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