City first responders at a crash scene on 9/12/23 (Courtesy CPD)

CASPER, Wyo. — Law enforcement agencies in Casper have responded to over 50 car crashes so far this month, the Casper Police Department reported in a release on Thursday, Sept. 14.

“Two of these crashes involved CPD vehicles, including a K9 Unit,” the release added.  “Fortunately, no officers (or K9 partners) were injured in these incidents.”

Most of the crashes could have been avoided, police said. The agency is prompting drivers to review the fundamentals of alert and defensive driving, which are provided below.

“None of us leaves the house, work, or a sporting event planning to get in a wreck. We’re all busy and often find ourselves thinking about something other than driving,” CPD spokesperson Amber Freestone told Oil City News 

“In any one of those moments of distraction, the opportunity to anticipate and avoid a crash could be missed.”

Per CPD policy: “Every traffic crash involving a vehicle owned by the City of Casper which results in property damage shall be immediately reported to the on-duty police supervisor and Risk Management by the investigating officer.” 

The incidents involving the patrol cars are being investigated internally and externally, the release said.

The following safe driving tips are available in the current Wyoming Department of Transportation pamphlet and online.

Identify: Defensive drivers scan for any person, vehicle, animal or anything else that could cause them to slow down, speed up or turn. They identify any of these things as CRITICAL OBJECTS. 

Predict: When defensive drivers identify a critical object, they predict what could happen. They predict the worst. For example: if they identify a person entering a parked car 10 to 15 seconds ahead, they predict that the driver will pull out in front of them without looking. 

Decide: Decisions are based on what can be done to prevent a crash, and not who is right or who is wrong. Defensive driving means that all responses to a critical object are the result of a decision and not a reaction to an unexpected danger. 

Execute: The final step in the IPDE Method of defensive driving is to execute the decision in a smooth, predictable manner and in time to avoid a crash. Driving defensively with IPDE requires that you:

• Scan ahead and to the sides;
• Communicate with other drivers;
• Isolate your vehicle in traffic; and 
• Separate risks and compromise space when necessary. WYDOT via CPD