Ambulance drivers have difficult tasks to perform. When they get a distress call, they have to drive as fast as they can to the patient, carefully get them placed and secured in the back of the ambulance, and then hurry back to the hospital, all while trying to navigate through New York City’s busy traffic.
With so much to deal with and so many miles driven it’s understandable why ambulance drivers have accidents, and at times collide with other vehicles and pedestrians.
The most common factors that contribute to ambulance crashes are:
With the speed ambulances drive to get the patient to the hospital emergency room as quickly as possible it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this is one of the most common ways that ambulance drivers injure themselves and others. Even though most of these emergency vehicles contain someone who’s life may be on the line, that person and the general public are put even further at risk if the driver prioritizes speed over safety.
When you combine poor weather conditions and speeding you often have a recipe in disaster.
Ambulance drivers often work long shifts and have stressful jobs that require them to be on high alert. They must pace themselves so that they can remain focused behind the wheel as even the most seasoned ambulance drivers are still vulnerable to exhaustion on the job.
Avoiding other motor vehicles
An ambulance accident isn’t always completely the ambulance driver’s fault. In New York City drivers are expected to pull over once they hear the siren or see the ambulance lights flashing. Unfortunately, some drivers are oblivious, some may simply panic, or they may fail to see the emergency vehicle coming from a different direction, all of which actions may put both parties and unlucky pedestrians or vehicles in danger.
Intersection collisions with ambulances are common as although the ambulance driver may have had lights and siren going the driver on the cross street often does not become aware of them in time to avoid a collision.
Ambulance drivers at an intersection must never assume that the cars approaching an intersection that is driving on the cross street will stop to let the ambulance pass. By New York law the ambulance may not proceed through an intersection without first slowing down and ascertaining that it is safe to do so, even if their lights and sirens are activated.
While ambulance drivers do have stressful positions that require quick action, they must prioritize the safety of their passengers and everyone else on New York’s crowded streets. Aside from injuring other drivers or pedestrians, ambulance drivers in accidents have also injured their own passengers.
At Jaroslawicz and Jaros we have represented persons that suffered serious injuries caused by an ambulance in many different ways: the patient being transported in the ambulance was injured in a car accident involving the ambulance; the patient fell off of the stretcher in the ambulance; the patient was dropped while being loaded or unloaded from the ambulance; or the patient was discharged and let off at the wrong location.
If you or a loved one have suffered a serious injury as a result of an ambulance driver’s negligence, call the experienced personal injury accident attorneys at Jaroslawicz & Jaros, we have helped many ambulance accident victims and their loved ones obtain compensation for their injuries.