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Emergency Vehicle Etiquette

Q. Hey Driving Dynamics! What’s up with drivers not stopping when an ambulance passes by? Have the rules changed since I started driving, as the majority keep driving as if there is no emergency equipment on the road.  

Thanks boys,

A. Thank you for the question…

I would like to answer the second portion of the question first…it is the easy part. The rules have not changed, drivers are to yield when given an audible signal by siren and/or flashing lights on an emergency vehicle, such as an ambulance, law enforcement vehicle or fire truck.

Simply stated, these emergency vehicles are responding to a crisis situation and it is imperative we provide them with a clear path to their destination. Normally, slowing down and moving to the right will open up the space needed for the passing vehicle.

Now, the tough part of your question…What’s up with drivers not stopping when an ambulance goes by?

In my humble opinion, people who fail to yield to emergency vehicles put themselves at risk as well as the emergency responders. Sometimes I believe drivers make a mistake and they fail to yield unknowingly. However, I also believe that many drivers just have a blatant disregard for others and consider their own need for the space on the highway to be more important than anyone else.

With your question today, I hope that we can all share with others the importance to yield the right of way when sharing the road during an emergency.

Thank you.

This question was answered by:

Ben Langley is the Safety Editor for “The Driver Advantage™”. Ben is a passionate proponent for driver safety education, training and awareness. Continuously submerged in research targeting human behavior and driver safety; Ben initiates creative thinking that is evident in his writings. Ben also develops unique, exciting and results oriented driver safety programs and campaigns. His knowledge and common sense approach to driver safety is wrapped with authentic concern for people. Ben is also the co-found of Safety Wins, Inc. a 501©(3) non-profit organization. The Safety Wins concept of training fleet drivers at NASCAR Race Tracks throughout America was federally and privately funded. Today, Safety Wins, Inc focuses on Teen Driver Safety and continues to use the platform of motorsports to attract attention to their life saving driver safety message. Contact the author

- has written 57 posts on Driving Dynamics.


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