Sometimes Emergency Vehicles Actually Cause Accidents

Flashing lights in the rearview mirror mean South Carolina drivers should slow down and pull over to the right side of the road. Drivers should also be cautious when they see an emergency vehicle such as a police officer on the side of the road, changing lanes if possible, to allow officials space to perform their duties.

But what if the operator of the vehicle with the blaring siren isn’t taking steps to ensure your safety in return?

Flashing Lights Don’t Necessarily Make Them Superheroes

  • Speed
  • Distraction
  • Fatigue
  • Time of Day
  • Intersections
  • Weather

All of the same factors that impact regular drivers can affect the person behind the wheel of an emergency vehicle.

Speed

Police cars, ambulances, and fire trucks all travel at high rates of speed because they’re responding to an emergency. It’s necessary, but it can also result in an accident. Whether a passenger with the emergency responder is injured or the EMS vehicle causes an accident with injuries to other motorists, speed can definitely be a contributing factor.

Distraction

It’s an epidemic, and emergency vehicle drivers are not immune. They may be consulting a GPS, communicating with dispatchers, or distracted by movement or talking within the vehicle. Fatalities can occur or life-altering injuries can result when any driver loses focus, and that includes those who are trying to save lives.

Fatigue

Driving while tired can be just as dangerous as driving drunk. Emergency personnel working late shifts or odd hours may be especially susceptible to feeling drowsy while at the wheel. Dozing off or responding to obstacles with slowed reaction time can be deadly serious.

Time of Day

Police officers, firemen and emergency medical personnel are on the road at all times of night and day. Although evening hours from 6:00 to 9:00 pm have proven to be the deadliest, the hours from 3:00 to 6:00 pm are also very hazardous. Intersections

Police officers and other emergency responders may slow at intersections, but they will continue through the crossing as they head toward their destination. It’s possible that their trajectory may just catch another driver off-guard. Was the siren on? Were lights flashing? It’s worth asking questions to see if precautions were taken.

Weather

Whether it’s rain, fog, or snow, the atmosphere outside can play a role in what happens inside a motor vehicle. Civilian drivers have to concentrate while dodging downpours and flipping wiper switches, and firemen are doing the same thing at the wheel of those big trucks. Responding to what Mother Nature puts in play can cause anyone to have an accident, even emergency responders.

First Responders — Attorneys Who Can Help

Maybe that EMS vehicle was flying through a red light hoping to save a life, but instead it slammed into your car and changed yours forever. All drivers on the road are dealing with issues that can affect their driving. We expect drivers of emergency vehicles to be super-vigilant. However, if there was a lapse in judgment or suspected negligence that resulted in an accident, that driver should be held to the same standards we all are.

Louthian Law Firm is experienced at handling legal cases involving emergency vehicles. Rely on us and our legal resources to represent you. Take a minute and complete our online contact form. Start the process that may get you compensation for being involved in such an accident.

In Case of Emergency — Louthian Law Firm

Personal injury lawyers Bert & Herb Louthian are ready to respond if you have questions concerning an accident involving an emergency vehicle. Don’t hesitate to ask for our opinion, because a consultation is free.

If you were the passenger in an ambulance that wrecked or the driver struck by a fire engine, you should consult a personal injury lawyer who will work diligently to obtain compensation for automobile repair, lost income, medical expenses and rehabilitation. Call us toll free at  (803) 454-1200from anywhere in South Carolina.