There are a range of vehicles that are considered emergency vehicles on our roads and they come in a range of shapes and sizes and can include sirens and flashing lights. It is good to be aware of the types of emergency vehicles on the road and what to do if you encounter one.
Types of Emergency Vehicles
We all can empathise that the emergency vehicle is needed in a possible life threatening situation and our instinct is to get out of the way as soon as possible. It is interesting to note that along with the more noticeable emergency vehicles like police cars, fire engines and ambulances, they can also include Mountain rescue, Coastguard, Highways Traffic, Blood and tissue transport vehicles and bomb disposal teams.
Possibly one of the most nerve-wracking things to happen on the road is that you will hear a siren or see flashing lights and you know an emergency vehicle is coming close.
The highway code advises that you should look and listen for emergency vehicles like fire engines, ambulances and police vehicles at all times when you are on the road. When you hear the sirens or see the blue lights flashing the most important thing to remember is that yes, you need to get out of the way as quickly as possible to let the emergency vehicle pass but you need to do so in a safe and appropriate way.
Some things to remember:
- Emergency vehicle drivers are specially trained to drive in emergency situations so concentrate on letting the vehicle pass safely not on the emergency vehicle itself.
- If possible, turn the radio or other noise distractions down or off in your car so you can concentrate fully on what is happening around you.
- Be aware that there may be more than one emergency vehicle on its way to the same emergency so stay alert and aware for more sirens or flashing lights.
- Don’t slam on the brakes or stop quickly or box or block a road or junction, look for a safe place and pull over.
- Use your indicators as this lets the emergency vehicle and other drivers know your intentions.
- Once the emergency vehicle has passed, move back into the traffic only when it is safe to do so and use indicators so other drivers know where you are intending to go.
- All the usual rules of the road apply to you when you are driving, it is only the emergency vehicle driver who has exceptions to the rules of the road.
- If you are driving on the motorway and all lanes are blocked the ambulance, police car or fire engine may use the hard shoulder to get passed so be aware that pulling over into that lane is not advisable.
- If you are coming up to a roundabout, let the police car, ambulance or fire engine navigate the roundabout before you.
For more driving tips take a look at our Manchester Driving school blog or to book a driving lesson contact us today to get started.