What to do when an emergency vehicle approaches

An ambulance is approaching behind you, sounding its sirens. What do you do? Do you pull over into a bus lane? Do you risk it and drive through red lights? What about braking harshly or swerving out of the way in panic? We’ve all been in that situation – a momentary panic. According to Birmingham Mail, emergency vehicles have been the cause of many road accidents. So, make sure you stay safe!

“Between 2011 and 2015, there have been a total of 317 accidents in the wider West Midlands region caused entirely or partially by an emergency vehicle with its blue lights flashing at the time.”

Here’s a guide on what to do when an emergency vehicle is approaching

1. Don’t panic

The first thing that people tend to do is panic – don’t. This will only have a bad effect, making to less aware of your surroundings. The vehicle is going to have to pass one way or another. If you are unable to pull over safely, continue driving. The emergency vehicle will overtake you when and if it is safe.

2. Prepare to pull over

If you hear an emergency vehicle, be prepared to pull over. However, only do this when it is safe to do so. Look for a safe place to pull over and indicate to let other drivers and the emergency vehicle know what you’re doing. Avoid stopping on the pavement, a kerb or a bend. There may be pedestrians who could be at risk. Do not block a junction or stop in the middle of the road.

3. Be aware

As soon as you hear a siren, you must stay alert. Turn down any music and check your mirrors to see if it is anywhere in sight. If you can’t see it, continue cautiously. Keep in mind that it could approach at any time, so keep checking your mirrors for any signs of flashing lights. There may be more than one emergency vehicle, so continue checking, even after one has passed. It is also good to be aware of other road users and what they’re doing.

4. Don’t break the law!

Many people believe that driving into a bus lane or driving through a red light is acceptable when making room for an emergency vehicle. This is not the case. Both actions are considered as breaking the las and should not be done – even if moving out of the way for an emergency vehicle. It’s good to bear in mind that drivers of emergency vehicles are professionals and are trained in dealing with situations like this.

5. Stay safe

Obviously, the last thing that the emergency vehicle driver wants to do is put you and other road users in danger. Avoid any driver distractions in order to stay completely focused. As long as you stay calm, and assess the situation, the vehicle will be able to pass safely.

Avoid a serious accident in a situation like this. To be sure your car is in a good condition, why not book a service today? You can use our quick and easy online booking tool. Or contact us for more information.

Libby Simmons

Libby has been working for BookMyGarage writing articles, creating newsletters and handling the social media platforms. She works closely with ex-mechanics and subject matter experts to provide weekly blogs: essential advice on how to care for your car, need-to-know news and developments in the motoring world and helpful tips on how to cut the costs of running and maintaining your car.

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