The likes of ambulances, fire trucks, and police cars are all emergency vehicles that need your cooperation as a civilian to get to their designated situation to provide the safety/emergency services needed. Here are some basic tips, do’s and don’ts, and other things you should know to prepare yourself for an encounter with these vehicles.

Be Alert and Observant to Your Surroundings:

To allow those vehicles to reach their destination easily, you have to try your best to not lose yourself in the confusion and chaos of all the lights and sirens. You must obey all traffic rules while remaining calm and attentive.

You should be careful to avoid blocking entrances to a hospital, fire station, or any other emergency/safety location. Driving onto a curb, stopping at intersections, and stopping on a hill are all factors that you should strictly refrain from to enable the emergency vehicles to pass through without creating another hazard.

The simplest way to successfully help out and let the emergency vehicle get through the traffic is to keep your car moving (at a slow speed) and make a way for the fire truck, ambulance, or police car to get through with ease so it can offer its services to the specific incident.

Do’s While Driving Close to An Emergency Vehicle

  • Stay calm, slow down, and pull into the nearest right lane to let the emergency vehicle pass through.
  • Scan the situation properly, calmly, and safely and figure out what you need to do to let the emergency vehicle pass through.
  • Use your signal lights while changing lanes.
  • Check your mirrors and surroundings before making any maneuvers on the road.
  • Look out for flashing lights near you and slow down to let the vehicle through as soon as you see it.
  • And if the flashing lights are that of a stopped emergency vehicle near you or on the side of the road, scan the road (and intersection if you are at one) and pass through with extreme caution and a slow speed.

Don’ts While Driving Close to An Emergency Vehicle

  • Don’t panic; as panicking can make you lose control of your vehicles and may put you, other drivers, and passengers in danger.
  •  Do not break the law; no running through red lights or going through solid white lanes and buses.
  • Do not rush ahead of the emergency vehicle, slow down and let it pass ahead of you.
  • Do not apply brakes abruptly and harshly as this can create an unpleasant threat for the vehicles around you including the emergency vehicle.

Reasonably, one might want to take actions such as running a red light in a serious situation and allow the emergency vehicle to reach its destination faster but not only will this put your driving license in danger and gain you a fine but you might also end up creating another grave situation near you.

Further Tips for Certain Situations:

While driving in such a situation, it can get quite confusing. Here are the measures that you should take and keep in mind when facing the following scenarios:

1. When an emergency vehicle comes up behind you, slow down the vehicle, pull to the right lane, and then stop. And if you are unable to switch to the right lane, drive to the lane that is closest to the right one.

2. When an emergency vehicle stops near you, slow down your vehicle and pull it into an open lane. If you are passing a stopped emergency vehicle, slow down by 16 km/h at least.

3. If an emergency vehicle comes toward you from the opposite direction, simply slow down and come to a stop on the side of the road; remember to not stop at an intersection as this can slow down the emergency vehicles from reaching their required destination.

Other than that, here are some general things that you should be aware of while driving alongside emergency vehicles:

1. Keep a good distance; even after you let the emergency vehicle pass ahead of your car, ensure you keep a safe distance from it while driving behind it – at least 150 meters away.

2. Do not drive faster than 70 km/h if the speed limit is 80 km/h and in places where the maximum speed limit is less than 80km/h, do not exceed the speed of 40 km/h.

3. Manage and control the speed of your car or vehicle as best as you can and keep it at a pace that makes it easier for you to change to a safer lane and let the emergency vehicle pass through.

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