5 tips to avoid an ambulance collision with a pedestrian

Add your tips to this list of ideas on avoiding a collision with pedestrians


Pedestrians can often be in the roadway, where we least expect and when we least expect them. Persons in the roadway might be intoxicated, lack high-visibility or reflective clothing or be difficult to see because of other vehicles or poor weather conditions.

In 2013, a Mich. ambulance struck and killed a pedestrian in the road. More than a year passed before a judge dismissed the driver of that ambulance from a civil lawsuit. An investigation determined the man was lying on the roadway and that the deceased man was highly intoxicated at the time.

More recently, Jan. 7, 2022, a patient was struck by a slow-moving ambulance in poor visibility conditions. Here are six other incidents of ambulances hitting pedestrians. The crew, as we would expect, immediately began caring for the patient's lower-body injuries. 

Follow these tips to avoid an ambulance-pedestrian collision
Follow these tips to avoid an ambulance-pedestrian collision (Photo/Pixabay)

Here, unfortunately, are other incidents of ambulances hitting pedestrians.

5 tips to avoid a pedestrian collision

As good as it is to be exonerated of wrongdoing, it is even better to avoid collisions in the first place. Here are five tips to avoid a collision with a pedestrian:

1. Scan

As the driver always keep your eyes on the road scanning for other vehicles, pedestrians, or animals that might unexpectedly move into the ambulance's path.

2. No distractions

Make radio, phone and mobile data terminal use the responsibility of the passenger; the driver drives.

3. Co-pilot

A front-seat passenger should assist the driver by scanning for hazards rather than typing a report, reading or eating, especially during red lights and sirens operations.

4. Follow the rules

Follow local protocols and state laws regarding operation with due regard, driving at speeds above the speed limit and driving in the lane of opposing traffic.

5. Adjust for current conditions

During severe or inclement conditions further reduce speed and increase scanning for hazards.

What are your tips to avoid a collision with a pedestrian?

This article, originally published May 26, 2015, has been updated.

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