Emergency vehicles such as fire trucks, ambulances and police cars are often key factors in saving lives and have certainly improved overall accident survival rates over time. However, injuries caused by emergency vehicles are not uncommon, due to their high speeds when responding to a call. Another unexpected danger is that new technology installed in vehicles to help reduce accidents has shown to be a cause of driver distraction. Any given emergency vehicle is likely to be equipped with the following:
- Mobile Computer Terminals (MCTs)
- Video cameras and displays
- Multi-channel radio systems
- Siren and light control panels
- Speed-measuring RADAR or LIDAR systems
If you’ve been injured in an accident that was caused by the driver of an emergency vehicle, you have the right to compensation just like in any other car or truck accident.
Thanks to the Law Offices of Frank Penney I was able to pay off all medical expenses and still had a little to spare. – Andrea G.
Emergency Vehicle Accidents by Type
Information sourced from a report by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute and Industrial & Systems Engineering at Texas A&M University.
Police vehicles are more likely than fire trucks or ambulances to be involved in an accident, in part due to the sheer number of police cars on the road at any given time. Police also pursue speeding vehicles, putting other drivers at risk. And police vehicles are likely to contain only one officer “manning the cockpit”, maximizing opportunities for distraction.
Failure to yield while in emergency mode is the number one cause of ambulance crashes, though it is the responsibility of other cars on the road to get out of the way. The driver’s lack of attention (i.e. distraction) is the second most common cause of emergency vehicle accident, and the top cause when not engaged in emergency mode.
A fire truck in emergency mode typically contains a crew, including a fire officer in the passenger seat to operate the electronics. However, it is necessary for the entire crew to put on protective gear which can obstruct their vision and hearing ability. Fire chiefs often travel to the emergency in their own cars, which are equipped with most of the same technology as the fire truck, meaning they are alone to man the cockpit at a high speed.
What You Can Do
You may be hesitant to take action on an emergency vehicle accident, fearing you might get a hero in trouble. However, if you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you probably have medical bills and other expenses that need to be covered. Keep in mind that reporting your accident may bring more attention to the problem, and that even emergency vehicles are covered by insurance policies. Contact one of our compassionate personal injury lawyers for a free case evaluation.