Responding To Emergency Vehicles On Kentucky Roads

Stay calm if you see an approach ambulance
Authorities are already concerned about drivers being uncertain of what to do when there’s an emergency vehicle around. When drivers get confused, chances are they may panic, too. Once panic has taken over, it will be even more difficult for emergency vehicles to deal with the situation. They may not be able to fit through the traffic. If this happens, it could be a matter of life or death for the victim they were trying to save. This is why it’s so important to know what to do when you see an ambulance.

Related: EMS: Drivers Can Be Confused By Emergency Vehicle Laws

Move Over Law
Here in Kentucky, we follow the Move Over Law. This is when drivers safely switch lanes once they see an emergency vehicle, or public safety vehicles for that matter, approaching. There may be cases where you cannot get over because cars are right next to you. If this happens, just try your best to give the emergency vehicle room to get around you. If you don’t safety switch lanes, you could get fined for violating this law. While this seems like a no-brainer, it’s hard to say how you’d react once you’re in this situation. Just picture yourself driving on a busy road when all of a sudden you hear wailing sirens. Are you going to swerve? Perhaps pull over? How about making a full stop? Knowing what to do in this situation will help the emergency vehicle get through as well as keep you safe.

What to do when you see an emergency vehicle approaching
You know that the emergency vehicle is in a hurry. The last thing everyone wants is for there to be an accident. Here are some tips on what you are supposed to do when an emergency vehicle is approaching:

  • Remember right-of-way - Always give way to the emergency vehicle. If you need to slow down or even pull over to the side of the road to give them room, then safely do so. However, make sure the cars around you are aware of what you are doing. They may not be paying attention and hit you by accident.
  • Be aware of your surroundings - When you see an emergency vehicle coming from behind, slow down and check the roads. Is it safe to pull over or switch lanes? Make sure to use your turn signals to make your intentions clear first before making another move, apart from reducing speed.
  • Keep a safe distance - If the emergency vehicle is in front of you, do not tailgate. This simple tip applies to when the emergency vehicle is parked. Remember to give way to the emergency staff doing their jobs.

Related: Tips To Help Emergency Vehicles Get To Accidents Faster

As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I know that this doesn't come easy for all of us. We may feel panic creep up, which is part of our reflex. The emergency staff is focused more on performing their job and we need to give them the room that they need. With that, let’s just do our best to stay calm and be extra considerate of everyone we're sharing the road with. If you see an emergency vehicle approaching from behind, try to safely pull over onto the side of the road. If you see an emergency vehicle approaching you from behind on the highway, get into the slow lane to allow them to safely pass. This will help them get to the accident or hospital faster, which could save a life.

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