Safe Driving when Hearing the Emergency Siren

On the Arrive Alive website, we find a detailed discussion on the importance of Emergency Response during the ‘Golden Hour’.  Precious time lost getting to the scene of the car crash or medical emergency during this time could mean the difference between life-and-death.

In this section, we would like to focus on safe driving for other road users when emergency vehicles with lights and sirens are heading towards the scene of an emergency. The drivers of emergency vehicles are mostly well trained in advanced driving and focused on the safety of others. They have no intention or desire to force others from the roads.

The everyday road user in return needs to make way for them in a safe manner and not create another emergency by making the wrong moves.

We will be sharing information on safe driving in an emergency as well as advice from the experts on how to respond when we hear the sirens of an emergency vehicle.

What are the major threats on the road when acting in emergency response? 

Personnel of the emergency services risk their lives daily to help us in our time of need.  But are we aware of the threats they encounter on the roads? Sometimes the biggest risk is just getting to the scene of a road crash or other medical emergency!

Emergency vehicles need to travel at high speed safely to reach those in need of a medical response.

Through unsafe driving, we can stand in the way of a life-or-death situation.

  • The biggest threat is the driver who panics when he hears the sound of a siren.
  • Many drivers are confused about what to do and either come to a stop abruptly at the wrong place or makes a dangerous move threatening the safety of not only the emergency vehicle but also other road users.
  • Some drivers don’t give way at all, especially during rush hour.
  • Many road users, when approaching the scene of an accident are distracted, causing rubbernecking and dangerous traffic situations.

There are also increased risks at specific locations:

  • At hills or blind bends – when drivers stop at a hill or blind bend it puts the emergency vehicle driver in further jeopardy.
  • At Hospitals – Fire Stations: When drivers pull over at the entrances of these premises they may hinder one of their emergency vehicles from leaving or safe arrival.
  • Stopped or Parked Emergency Vehicle:  Where these vehicles are spotted drivers need to slow down and continue with caution giving the emergency vehicle a wide berth. Watch out for obstacles, other drivers, and Rubberneckers.
  • At Road Junctions/ Intersections: Vehicles sometimes block these junctions thereby impeding the emergency vehicle

Image by Vectorstock

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