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.
Here, unfortunately, are other incidents of ambulances hitting pedestrians.
- Ambulance hits NYC pedestrian: A woman was in serious condition after being struck by an FDNY EMS ambulance that was headed to Penn Station for a call of an unconscious person.
- Md. ambulance slides on ice; hits 2 pedestrians: An ambulance was unable to stop on an ice-covered road, and crews hit a woman who slipped and fell - the patient they were dispatched for - and a bystander helping her.
- Teen struck by ambulance in serious condition; investigation underway: A 16-year-old hit by an ambulance while crossing the street by his home was in serious condition. The incident was reviewed by a safety committee, and there were conflicting reports on whether lights and sirens were activated at the time.
- 21-year-old struck by ambulance dies: The man was hit around 4 a.m. as the ambulance was returning from an emergency call.
- Ambulance strikes man who 'darted' into street: The ambulance was transporting a non-critical patient when the man allegedly "darted out onto the roadway".
- Pedestrian struck, killed by ambulance on highway: Investigators said a woman was crossing the highway when she was hit by the ambulance.
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:
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.
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.