The numbers are mind-blowing, not to mention dangerous. According to a survey by the National Safety Council and the Emergency Responder Council:
- 71 percent of U.S. drivers take photos or videos of an emergency vehicle on the side of the road.
- 60 percent post those photos and videos to social media.
- 66 percent send an email about the situation.
All of this happens while they are behind the wheel of a moving car! There’s more:
- 16 percent admit they either have struck or nearly struck a first responder or emergency vehicle stopped on or near the road.
- 89 percent said distracted drivers are a major risk to first responders.
“The cruel irony is, we are putting the people who are trying to improve safety in very unsafe situations,” said Nick Smith, interim president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “Our emergency responders deserve the highest levels of protection as they grapple with situations that are not only tactically difficult but also emotionally taxing. Save your communications for off the road; disconnect and just drive.”
A Mixed Message
Furthermore, many of these same drivers seem immune to common sense, even though 2013 saw 37 people killed and another 17,028 injured in accidents involving ambulances, fire trucks or police cars:
- 49 percent said the danger of being struck by a car is “just part of the risk” of being a first responder.
- 19 percent admit their own inattentive driving has probably endangered first responders, while at the same time 62 percent claim they are “above average” drivers when passing an emergency scene.
- 24 percent are unaware of legal requirements for what they must do when encountering an active emergency vehicle.
- 80 percent said they slow down to get a better look at emergency scenes, even though doing so creates safety hazards.
Simple Solution to Your Complex Case: Hire an Experienced Lawyer
If you’ve been injured at the scene of an emergency response due to a negligent driver, your physical, emotional, mental and financial health could be in jeopardy. You may be unable to work and provide for your family because of your injuries. As the bills pile up, an insurance company likely will offer to settle your case, but for far less than you need or deserve, because they know you are desperate. The turmoil can be overwhelming.
You need a dedicated, passionate advocate who will fight for your rights. Personal injury lawyer Daniel C. Carlton has more than 40 years of experience handling accidents in Orange County. Based in Costa Mesa, the lifelong Southern California resident will use his expertise to get justice for you and your loved ones, no matter how complex the case. Contact him today for a free case consultation.