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What is most popular day of week for Houston police chases? KPRC2 crunches the data

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HOUSTON – Police chases are a common sight across the Houston area, as KPRC2 showed you earlier this month in Joel Eisenbaum's report, 'What are chase suspects really thinking?'

Since the report aired May 7, there have been five police chases that KPRC2 has covered.

Data obtained by Channel 2 Investigates shows that Friday appears to be overtaking Monday as the most popular day of the week for chases involving the Houston Police Department.

Through April 4 of this year, 17.6 percent of HPD pursuits happen on Fridays. That beats Saturdays by a few tenths of a percentage point. Wednesday is the least popular day, with 11.7 percent. 

In both 2016 and 2017, according to HPD data, Monday was slightly more likely than other days to have at least one Houston police chase. In 2016, 17.7 percent of total chases happened on Mondays. In 2017, Monday was a less decisive winner with 15.2 percent.

Chases getting longer, but with fewer collisions

Overall HPD police chases are getting longer on average, but the rate of collisions has decreased, Channel 2 Investigates found. 

The average amount of time police are engaged in vehicle pursuits of suspects has nearly doubled since 2016, according to police chase data kept by the HPD.

  • In 2016, 994 police pursuits lasted an average of 5.86 minutes.
  • In 2017, 997 police pursuits lasted an average of 7.22 minutes.
  • In 2018, through April 4, 273 police pursuits lasted an average of 10.73 minutes.

But the longer chases have not resulted in higher accident rates. 

  • In 2016, the number of chases that involved any collision was 31.7 percent.
  • In 2017, the rate of collision dropped to 31.4 percent. 
  • Through April 4 of this year, the collision rate was 24.9 percent.

How do they end?   

Most Houston police chases end with the suspect voluntarily stopping. From 2016-2018, police pursuits ended this way around 35 percent of the time.

The second-most popular way for a police chase to end is from the suspect abandoning the vehicle and running. The data shows this happens about 24 percent of the time.

Suspects do get away, but not often

Data provided by the Houston Police Department shows suspects escaped in their vehicles infrequently.

Around 5 percent of suspects manage to outrun or outmaneuver police in chases.

But the data does not account for subsequent arrests, that is suspects caught in the days following a police pursuit.

VIDEO: Houston's wildest police chases