When emergency services are needed, time is of the essence. In the event that you hear sirens on the roadways, make sure not to panic or stop abruptly. This could threaten the safety of not only the emergency vehicle, but also other vehicles on the road. Be sure to move off to the side of the roadway, if possible, to allow the emergency vehicle room to get by.
The worst thing you could do is allow the oncoming emergency vehicle to distract you. This can cause bottlenecking and dangerous traffic situations that could very easily lead to an accident. And of course, don’t just stop where you are. Slow down, and pull to the side of the road, and be sure not to block any intersections.
You should also remember to check your rear-view and side mirrors to estimate the speed of the emergency vehicle, and plan your next move. Then start looking for a safe area where you can pull over. Wait for the emergency vehicle to pass, keeping your foot on the brake so that your brake lights let other drivers know you have stopped. Also, keep in mind there may be more emergency vehicles heading in the same direction.
Unfortunately, there have been instances where emergency response vehicles have caused accidents while responding to a call. Sometimes they might fail to use the proper warning lights or sirens, and other drivers are not aware of their approach. Or, once they arrive at their destination, they do not continue the use of lights or sirens as they are blocking the roadways. Both can be very serious matters, and it’s best to always be aware of your surroundings and practice defensive driving.
If you have any further questions about this topic, please feel free to call our office at (251) 300-2000, or come by anytime at 51 North Florida Street.