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Car Accidents Involving Emergency Vehicles

Posted on in Personal Injury

emergency vehicle accidents,  San Jose car accident attorney, car accident injuries, distracted driving,  emergency respondersMost drivers have had the experience of being on the road and suddenly hearing sirens or seeing red flashing lights. We pull over in time to see a fire truck, police cars, or other emergency vehicles go racing by. Emergency responders provide a valuable service and are generally the first on the scene when threatening and tragic events happen. However, getting caught in front or alongside of these vehicles on the road can put drivers in a potentially dangerous situation, making car accidents and injuries more likely to occur.

Emergency Vehicle Accidents

A December 2017 car accident that occurred in the Millbrae area, 30 minutes to the north of San Jose, highlights the potential dangers drivers face when dealing with emergency responders. ABC 7 News reports three suspects were arrested after a high speed car chase ended in a crash at the Green Hills Country Club. What started as a carjacking incident ended in pursuit on I-380, with vehicle speeds over 100 miles per hour. Fortunately no other motorists were involved in the collision. 

Police, firefighters, and emergency medical services (EMS) workers have the authority to go above speed limits and to disregard traffic signs and signals to protect the public and save lives in potentially dangerous situations. Unfortunately, these driving behaviors are among the leading causes of car accidents and injuries.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has determined that emergency vehicle accidents pose enough of a hazard on roads and highways to warrant additional studies on how these accidents occur and what can be done to prevent them. In addition to the high rates of speed these vehicles travel in carrying out their duties, other factors involved in these accidents include the following:

  • Driver distraction: Emergency vehicles come equipped with the latest cameras and communications technology, allowing them to communicate with dispatchers and other first responders in their efforts to manage a crisis. Unfortunately, responding to communications and using visual aids are a major distraction, which is a leading cause of car accidents.

  • Errors in judgment: Emergency responders work long shifts, are under high stress conditions, and are subject to adrenaline spikes when facing dangerous situations. All of these takes a toll on both their physical and mental health, and can make critical mistakes and errors in judgement more likely to occur.

  • Motorist mistakes: When emergency vehicles come flying down the road, sirens blaring and lights flashing, it can be difficult for drivers to determine which direction they are coming from or the best course of action. If you are approaching an intersection or in high traffic conditions, these situations can be particularly dangerous. 

Let Us Help You Today

We all appreciate the heroic efforts made by emergency responders, which makes it even more challenging when crashes or collisions involving these vehicles occur. Call or contact Jachimowicz Law Group online to get the professional legal guidance you need in these situations. Our dedicated San Jose car accident attorneys are here to help you get the compensation you deserve for injuries you suffer.








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