The lawyers of Chanfrau & Chanfrau are among the leading Daytona Beach attorneys for auto accident lawsuits, providing sound legal advice in even the most complex motor vehicle litigation.
We've focused a lot on issues related to commuter vehicles, commercial vehicles, and mass transit. Let's take a moment right now to consider the dangers of emergency vehicles, particularly firetrucks.
Firetrucks Can Pose a Number of Dangers
Firefighters are heroic first responders, often the very first emergency personnel to arrive on the scene of an injury, accident, or incident. While they are extremely important and should be thanked for doing their job, one also has to note that the firetrucks and vehicles they drive can be dangerous. These vehicles often have to snake through traffic in a rush to respond to an emergency, and accidents with firetrucks can occur.
Statistics Regarding Fire Truck Accidents
These numbers come from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the United States Fire Administration (USFA).
- Between 2000-2009, there were approximately 31,600 accidents involving firetrucks and related vehicles
- Of that number, 70 percent of the accidents occurred while the vehicle was being used to respond to an emergency
- Rollover accidents account for two-thirds of all fatal firetruck collisions
Keep in mind that firetruck accidents are dangerous for firefighters as well as other drivers. Auto accidents are the second leading cause of on-the-job fatalities for firefighters in the US.
Pull Over, Give Firetrucks Way
If you see a firetruck approaching from behind, be sure to do as you learned when getting your driver's license: pull over and give that vehicle the right of way. This will help avoid minor injuries as well as serious ones.
Note Lights and Sounds That Warn of Emergency Vehicles
Be sure to remain attentive of any sirens of flashing lights while you are on the road. This will give you a good idea of where an emergency vehicle is approaching from and get you ready to pull over safely if necessary.
Pedestrians and Bicyclists Should Be Extra Attentive
Given the sheer vulnerability of pedestrians and bicyclists, it's important that non-motorists be extra careful when they see a firetruck or any emergency vehicle. The same goes for hearing sirens in the distance. Be safe and smart rather than sorry.
Is It Possible for Firetruck Drivers to Be Negligent?
While firefighters are generally very safe behind the wheel and are given right of way in emergencies, there are occasions in which the driver of a vehicle may be negligent. In such cases, it's important that the legal process play out and that negligent parties be held accountable.
In some cases, it may be found that the cause of the accident was not driver error per se but rather an issue with the firetruck itself, such as a mechanical failure. Road and weather conditions can similarly result in a firetruck collision. Let us also not forget that negligence by other motorists can lead a firetruck to swerve, resulting in a serious and unintended collision.
Working with a skilled attorney means getting the assistance necessary to hold negligent parties accountable and ensuring justice is served.
Speak with the Lawyers of Chanfrau & Chanfrau
For more information about your legal options in auto accident cases caused by emergency vehicles, we encourage you to contact our personal injury law firm today. The team at Chanfrau & Chanfrau will fight diligently for you and your legal rights.