Car Accident Involving a Fire Rescue Truck: Not So Unusual?

Today the St. Petersburg Times reported a car accident involving a Fire Rescue truck and delivery truck on Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard. Believe it or not, these types of car accidents occur more often than you might think. Luckily, no one was injured in this car accident, but that is not always the case.

While we don’t know if this Fire Rescue truck was on an emergency call at the time, we see many cases where drivers fail to yield to an emergency vehicle and cause a car accident. As a result, firefighters and other emergency workers are sometimes injured and unable to continue serving our community. Often times, the emergency vehicle is not able to continue in route to the emergency call. That means that someone who needs emergency care may not receive it as quickly as they would have otherwise.

Most people are well aware that they have a duty to yield to emergency vehicles. However, many drivers are distracted by cell phones, loud music, and even browsing the internet while they drive. These distractions can lead to a driver being completely unaware of an approaching emergency vehicle, and in turn, cause a car accident.

To prevent these types of motor vehicle accidents from occurring, Florida law sets forth the responsibilities of other drivers when an emergency vehicle is approaching. Florida Statute Section 316.126(a) provides that when an emergency vehicle gives signals to other drivers by way of a siren, exhaust whistle, other device, or visual signal in the form of blue or red lights, the other drivers must yield the right-of-way to the emergency vehicle. All drivers must immediately proceed to a position parallel to, and as close as reasonable to the closest edge of the roadway. Additionally, the driver must clear any intersection and remain in position until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed.

All of us at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes, P.A. would like to remind drivers to be alert to approaching emergency vehicles. If you are injured in a car accident involving an emergency vehicle, the personal injury attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes, P.A. can assist you.

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