The leading cause of death for police is … traffic collisions — not shootings or other attacks, and very few of the collisions involve high-speed chases. Just run-of-the-mill crashes.
“The report counted the deaths of 186 officers as of Dec. 26, up from 145 last year. Eighty-one died in traffic incidents, which the report said surpassed their record of 78 set in 2000. Shooting deaths increased from 52 to 69, a rise of about 33 percent.”
“…Of the 81 traffic deaths this year, 60 officers died in car crashes, 15 were hit by cars and six died in motorcycle crashes. Police departments have worked to limit high-speed chases and only seven of the car crashes were attributed to such pursuits”
— US Police Fatalities Spike in 2007, The Associated Press, Dec. 27, 2007
fatalities at a glance: 81 traffic, 69 shootings, 18 physical causes (mostly heart attacks), 18 “other” (boating and aircraft accidents were mentioned). Totals to 186.
The Officer Down Memorial Page maintains detailed stats at www.odmp.org. Of the dozen or so categories; besides “automobile accident” and “struck by vehicle”, some of the “vehicular assault” category are plain-old traffic collisions.
Another good run-down discussing trending (shootings down, traffic deaths up) Auto Accidents Killing More Cops: “there were many more officers killed in traffic-related accidents (72) than in shootings (57)”, those were 2004 figures.