Danger on the Roads: Emergency Vehicle Accidents
If you have ever been involved in a car wreck, needed assistance from law enforcement personnel or needed help putting out a fire, you were likely extremely grateful for the valuable service that the emergency responders provided. They work long hours for modest pay and put themselves in danger nearly every day, all to protect virtual strangers from harm. Sometimes, however, the emergency vehicles play a part in accidents. To learn more about the dangers of emergency vehicle accidents, read on.
Heavy and Fast
If you’ve ever been up close to an ambulance or firetruck, you may have been impressed with the solid build and sturdiness of the vehicles. They are built to hold heavy equipment and to withstand forces that normal trucks don’t have to contend with. Additionally, by their very nature, they are often moving at a high rate of speed, and that is understandable; if it were your loved one inside, you would want that ambulance to get to the hospital as quickly as possible. If you combine both the increased weight and the higher speeds that these vehicles travel on a regular basis, you can see the potential for problems when the worst happens and a passenger car collides with an emergency vehicle.
Accidents involving emergency vehicles often cause more trauma to the injured due to their speed and weight. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has studied the incidents of crashes that involve ambulances, police cars and firetrucks and the results show that injuries and fatalities are more likely to occur with those types of vehicles. The NHTSA studied accidents over a 20 year period and the findings are striking:
- Every year, on average, there were 29 ambulance accidents that caused an average of 33 fatalities.
- Of those fatalities, 63% consisted of people in the passenger vehicle; 21% were ambulance passengers.
- 60% of accidents occurred while the vehicle was in emergency use, in other words, when they were traveling to or from an accident.
Dealing With an Accident
If you have been involved in an accident with an emergency vehicle, you should not be reluctant to seek compensation just because of the circumstances. You have a right to travel the roadways and be safe, regardless of speeding police cars or firetrucks. These first responders could make mistakes when driving just like anyone else, but the result of a crash with one of these speeding vehicles could result in serious injuries and a life-changing recovery process. Talk to an auto accident attorney right away for professional legal assistance to get you the compensation you need and deserve.