In the past few years, the problem of distracted driving has taken a toll on emergency response times in many communities.
Emergency first responders have increasingly complained that too many drivers are failing to pull over to help clear a path for emergency vehicles running their sirens and flashing their lights.
But distracted driving isn’t always to blame. Some drivers are simply indecisive about how to respond to an approaching siren.
Here are some tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that you can pass along to fleet drivers as a friendly reminder:
- Drive defensively, keep the noise level down in your vehicle, and look for more than one emergency vehicle approaching when you hear a siren.
- Check your rear-view mirror, scan in front and on both sides of your vehicle, try to estimate the closing speed of the emergency vehicle, and plan your next move.
- React quickly, but calmly, and scan in all directions before pulling over. Always use a turn signal when exiting the roadway and don’t slam on the brakes or pull over suddenly.
- Before re-entering the road, make a visual sweep in all directions, turn on your signal, and gradually merge back into traffic.
- Don’t stop at a place that doesn’t have enough room to pull over safely and never follow or try to outrun an emergency vehicle.
For more tips, including what to do on a freeway or in heavy traffic, click on the photo or link below the headline to watch a video on the subject.