Emergency Vehicle Roadway Safety

Car accidents are a common part of living in the metro-Atlanta community – from single vehicle crashes to 18-wheeler accidents.  One type of common vehicle crashes oftentimes overlooked are those involving emergency vehicles.

Emergency vehicles can include police cars, firetrucks, ambulances and more.  Each of these vehicles are required to travel at high speeds to reach a disaster to help others.  Perhaps surprising is that fatalities are almost 5 times higher for emergency responders than the national average.  Here’s a breakdown of yearly statistics that involve police cars, firetrucks and ambulance accidents.

Police Cars and Patrol Vehicles

  • Around 300 traffic fatalities each year are caused by police pursuits in the United States.
  • 30% of those fatalities involved drivers and passengers not involved a pursuit.
  • Between 1998 and 2008, half of law enforcement official deaths were a result of traffic accidents.

Firetrucks and First Response Vehicles

  • Around 70% of firetruck-related accidents happen during emergency use.
  • Accidents that involved a firetruck rollover make up approximately 70% of all fatal firetruck crashes.
  • Firetruck wrecks are the second leading cause of on-the-job deaths for firefighters.

Ambulances

  • Around 60% of ambulance accidents occur during emergency use – the same percentage of ambulance accident fatalities that occur in the patient compartment.
  • Ambulances are involved in close to 6,500 accidents every year.
  • Every year, an average of 600 people experience injuries in the nearly 1,500 accidents that occur involving ambulances.

When emergency vehicles are in pursuit or service, please be mindful and help keep roadways safe.  Emergency vehicle drivers are trained to navigate roadways in specific ways, but it is still important for other drivers to respect those vehicles and use extra care. Emergency workers risk their lives every day to help keep us safe, so always allow them the right of way in the event of an emergency and call of duty.