WSU News

NBC: Distracted emergency drivers cause crashes


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – NBC’s Bay Area Investigative Unit found, on average, there is a crash every other day in California, caused by an emergency driver who is distracted.

The report features Bryan Vila, a professor of criminal justice and a researcher associated with the WSU Sleep and Performance Research Center at WSU Spokane. The study reviewed more than 2.4 million collision reports recorded by the CHP from 2006-2011. Click the following link to see the NBC video report.

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Vila and his team have been examining the impact of fatigue and distractions on law enforcement officer driving performance. They also have been comparing collision risks for those who work day shifts with those who work night shifts.

The work is being done under a two-year contract with the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST).

The study is part of a continuing line of research related to police officer performance, safety and health spearheaded by Vila, who heads a simulation laboratory that is designed to mimic police officers’ work environments and is located in WSU Spokane’s Sleep and Performance Research Center.

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  • Bryan Vila, professor of criminal justice, WSU Spokane,, 509-358-7711
  • Judith Van Dongen, Communications Office, WSU Spokane, 509-358-7524,