Has Anyone Studied This?(Cars Crashing In to Parked Police Cars)

There have been several incidences of this in MA.
Here in MA, the state police cars have extremely bright flashing light displays-they alternate between red and blue, and are turned on when the car is in persuit, or when parked at an emergency.
It has been suggested that this bright flashing light display causes impaired drivers to head in the direction of the lights-much as moths are attracted to a porch lamp.
Has anyone studied this idea? It might explain why so many state police cars are hit while parked by the side of the roads.
Has anyone read about such a phenomena?

Target Fixation, not just for drunks.

How about that the damned things are so damned annoying that people are willing to sacrifice themselves to kill one?

The light bar, not the statie.

As a long time runner on the shoulder of the road, I have noticed that many vehicles make a slight correction in my direction before straightening the steering wheel and maybe even giving me extra room. This happens at night too and it’s clear something subconscious is happening before the driver consciously recognizes that a pedestrian is present. So something similar may be happening with the lighted patrol cars. I my state drivers are required to clear the lane nearest the stopped unit and some still manage to crash into the parked cars. Of course, many are under the influence.

It was more due to ice than blinky lights, but I saw some poor SOB smash 2 (!) police cars investigating a prior spin out. It was at the north end of Lakeshore Drive in Chicago where it curves 90 degrees and heads west. A friend has a condo there and it is fun to watch the wrecks when the road is icy.

I like the theory about the lights and moth effect. I’ll ask a cop friend about it.

It’s a basic driving rule…Look where you want to go.

It’s not unique to Mass.


(BTW, “phenomena” is/are plural. The singular is “phenomenon”.)

Thread from 2 weeks ago on topic: Why do cop cars continue to flash - Factual Questions - Straight Dope Message Board