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Motor vehicle crashes associated with high speed police pursuits have received recent attention in both the public health literature and the lay press.1–4 Each year in the US there are approximately 350 fatalities attributable to police pursuits.5 In 2003, 7000 high speed chases occurred in California alone, resulting in 51 deaths.6 Data are more difficult to obtain for countries other than the US, but a recent report by the Police Federation of England and Wales suggested that pursuit related deaths in Britain tripled between 1997 and 2003.7 Though funded by the US Department of Justice, a 1996 publication by the International Association of Chiefs of Police attempted to establish an international model pursuit policy, suggesting that the importance of this problem is widely recognized.8
Drivers under 16 years of age are involved in over 200 US fatal crashes yearly.9–11 However, no previous study has addressed the involvement of very young, typically unlicensed, drivers in fatal police pursuits. The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of such very young drivers in fatal crashes related to police chases.
Methods and materials
This study is based on the US Fatality Analysis Reporting System …
This work was supported by a grant made to Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine by Dr and Mrs Robert Blacklow.
Competing interests: none.