When the worst happens, the sight of an ambulance or a fire truck is a welcome one. The people who respond to calls for wrecks, fires, and other emergencies are everyday heroes, and saving lives is just part of the job for these tireless and underpaid workers. Unfortunately, the same vehicles that you can count on to rescue you and transport you can also be a danger on the roadways. Read on to learn more about how much harm might come to others by these large emergency vehicles.
Firetrucks and ambulances are not normal vehicles in any way. They are constructed to be extra durable and to carry important life-saving equipment. They must be made to endure conditions that most vehicles on the road will never experience.
It only makes sense that these types of vehicles must be driven fast. The faster they can respond to an emergency, the more lives that can potentially be saved. The problem is that when you combine the added weight of the vehicles with speed, you get the potential for a very dangerous situation for other drivers on the road. No passenger car is a match for these large and heavy vehicles, and a crash could cause severe injuries.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has studied crashes involving emergency vehicles, and it's clear from the data that passenger car occupants are in greater danger when the wreck involves emergency vehicles. Over a 20-year period, they looked at 29 wrecks involving ambulances and they found that 33 deaths occurred, with 63% of those deaths for the car occupants. At least 60% of the wrecks involved an ambulance responding to a call.
While no one is disputing the importance of first responders driving adequate and quick vehicles, the people in passenger vehicles have every right to expect that the drivers of those vehicles use due care. Accidents can happen at anytime, but if you have been involved in wreck involving an emergency vehicle, you are far more likely to be seriously injured or killed. If you or a loved has been the victim of an emergency vehicle accident, take the following actions:
- Seek treatment and follow all medical advice.
- Keep careful records of your medical treatments, time off work, and a pain journal—a pain journal is simply a day-to-day accounting of the negative ways the accident has affected your life and the life of your loved ones.
- Speak to a personal injury attorney right away.