Preventing Fatalities In Ambulance Accidents

Accidents involving ambulances can be devastating to both occupants of the ambulance and the other car involved. According to the National Fire Protection Association, more than 84,000 ambulance crashes occurred in the United States between 1990 and 2009. Of that number, 590 resulted in at least one fatality and nearly 29,000 included some sort of injury. By learning more about the causes and details of these accidents, experts hope to lower those statistics in the future.

Where do Ambulance Accidents Occur?

While many people assume ambulance accidents occur more frequently during adverse weather conditions or at night, statistics show quite the opposite. The majority of accidents take place during daylight hours and on dry road conditions. A report at the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch showed that most ambulance collisions take place in intersections, with 60 percent of accidents occurring where there is a stop sign or stop light. In New York, the number of accidents at intersections goes up to 70 percent and often results in serious injury or death to one or more occupants of the vehicles involved.

Prevention of Ambulance Accidents

With data showing intersections are a dangerous spot for emergency vehicles, prevention of ambulance accidents begins with greater caution at these locations. While emergency vehicles have the right of way when their lights and sirens are on, other drivers approaching the intersection may not realize there is an emergency vehicle in the vicinity until it is too late. Many ambulance companies do not offer standard guidelines for negotiating intersections, so procedural recommendations could be helpful in this area as well.