CA Car Crashes: How to Share the Road Safely With Emergency Vehicles

Last month, a Fullerton traffic accident between an ambulance and a passenger car sent four people to the hospital with serious injuries. While most drivers know to pull to the curb when they either see the flashing lights of an emergency vehicle or hear sirens, there is much more to safely sharing the road with ambulances, fire trucks, police cars, and other emergency responders.

Far too many crashes occur each year in California between emergency vehicles and other cars—and many are preventable. Here’s how:

  • An emergency vehicle using its lights and sirens ALWAYS has the right of way.
  • Even if an emergency vehicle is on the opposite side of the road, pull over and wait for it to pass. Emergency vehicles may use travel in the wrong lane to get to their destination more quickly.
  • If you are in an intersection when you see an approaching emergency vehicle, continue through it before pulling over.
  • If you can hear an emergency vehicle approaching but cannot see it, it still is wise to pull over to a safe spot on the side of the road.
  • Never assume you can predict the path of an emergency vehicle using its lights and siren; they do not need to follow any traffic laws.
  • Pull back onto the road carefully after an emergency vehicle passes. Where there is one emergency vehicle, there often are others.
  • Always follow the instructions of an emergency responder who is directing traffic, even if they ask you to break a traffic law.
  • Even if an emergency vehicle is not using its lights and sirens, it still may act unpredictably. Be vigilant and give these vehicles extra room.

Contact Orange County Personal Injury Attorney

Have you been involved in a California car accident with an emergency vehicle, but you aren’t sure who was at fault? Speak with an Orange County personal injury attorney at Russell & Lazarus today. Call us toll-free at (949) 851-0222 to request a free, confidential meeting.

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