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High-Speed Chases: Twisted Metal, Wrecked Cars and Adrenaline (Page 3)

Continued from Page 2 of "High-Speed Chases: Twisted Metal, Wrecked Cars and Adrenaline"According to the California Highway Patrol no less than 10,000 bystanders have been injured in the last decade because of car chases. What’s more, 300 people got killed from the same reason, and keep in mind that all these statistics concern those who aren’t directly involved in the chase.

And because we were talking about the reasons for a highway runaway, the same research claims that drivers under the influence are the ones responsible for 46 percent of the cases, while thieves account for 32 percent. Between 35 to 40 percent of the chases end in a collision, so the number of injured people can get even bigger.

Besides the fact that most authorities constantly call for harsher laws to reduce the number of police chases, many of them already started campaigns and special programmes to let drivers, especially those very young, find out about the risks of getting involved in such a chase.

Furthermore, there are a lot of organizations out there, not only in the United States, which are struggling to make people aware of the risks, trying at the same time to protect and support innocent bystanders.

Police interceptors are heavily tested before they go out to chase criminals on the highway. Several US car manufacturers develop such products, but Ford still holds the lion's share in this particular segment.

A the same time, there are plenty of studies released every month that do nothing more than to emphasize the dangers of police chases, trying to convince not only drivers to avoid doing is, but also calling for a more effective training for every police officer.

Since all police pursuits can become fatal in just a second, Australian authorities even tried to ban chases in 2010 completely. It all happened after a family of three got killed in Canberra by a 23-year old involved in a car chase. Officers stopped chasing the driver after he ran a red light, but soon after that he crashed and killed three people. The young driver was also pronounced dead at the hospital.

In the end, local authorities rejected the proposal to ban police pursuit, arguing that this is basically the only way to stop criminals and prevent similar cases in the future. Letting them run away freely could even increase high-speed getaways, they said.

One the most important problem however is that all these car chases are considered extremely entertaining, so televisions around the world struggle to broadcast as many pursuits as possible. They have hired new reporters and bought special cameras to create reality shows that apparently have millions of fans all over the globe. Furthermore, some channels invested much more money and acquired helicopters that sometime record the entire chase a lot better than law enforcement troops.

In the end, it all comes down to the driver and unless authorities issue harsher laws and continue their efforts in this particular area, high-speed chases will go on like forever. And it’s almost impossible to stop them, not as long as we see them every day on TV, in newspapers, magazines, video games and movies.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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