How To Safely Let Emergency Vehicles Past

Emergency Vehicles Past

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Having an emergency vehicle pulling up behind you at high speed, with the lights flashing and sirens blaring can be a daunting experience, especially for a newly qualified driver. The worst things you can do is make yourself a hazard by panicking and refusing to give way or stopping in the wrong place.

To help you deal with that stressful situation, and to help you present the smallest obstacle to the emergency services, here are some tips for how to safely let emergency vehicles past

Stay Calm

The best thing you can do in this situation is to stay calm and have faith in the driver of the emergency vehicle. They have been trained to avoid other road users at high speeds. All you need to be concerned with is getting out of their way in a safe and measured manner.

Stay Alert

While you might be able to stay calm, that does not necessarily mean the other people around you will. Other drivers by slow down suddenly or turn sharply when they hear emergency vehicles coming. If your radio is on, turn off the music so that you can hear the siren properly and stay aware of where the emergency vehicle is. As soon as it is possible, pull over into a safe space. It is important to remember that there could be a few emergency vehicles traveling to the same place, so check your surroundings before pulling out and restarting your journey.

Give Way

You should always pull over so that an emergency vehicle can pass you and make best efforts to never block an exit. If there is no realistic or safe way for you to pull over immediately, continue at a steady speed until it is safe to stop and let the emergency vehicle pass. Never stop in a bus lane or pull onto a cycle path as you run the risk of causing an accident.

Don’t Try and Overtake When Being Passed by an Emergency Vehicle

This really goes without saying, but if there is an emergency vehicle coming up behind you with its siren on, stay in the same road positing until it passes. Attempting to overtake when being passed by an emergency vehicle could result in you blocking the road when someone’s life is at stake.

Don’t Stop Suddenly

There is no need to suddenly grind to a halt. Use your indicators or hand signals to let other road users know that you plan to stop and only pull over in a safe place to let emergency vehicles pass you. Sudden braking or sharp turns can endanger you and other road users.

Don’t Use the Shoulder

Emergency vehicles often use the shoulder on a highway to reach accidents without having to weave through traffic. When you hear the sirens, do not automatically pull onto the shoulder, you might actually be blocking the emergency vehicle if you do.

Don’t Rubberneck

If you happen to be passing an accident, don’t slow down to look. Aside from being a distasteful thing to do, suddenly slowing to get a better look might take other road users by surprise and could cause another accident.

Stay at a steady pace, keep your eyes on the road and look for directions being given by the police or emergency services.

Expert Training

The Northwest Driving School and Traffic School provides the Las Vegas community with live driving and traffic classes taught by seasoned instructors. All of our driving instructors have passed background checks, each automobile is DMV safety-approved and every member of the Northwest family is committed to providing excellent drivers ed and behind the wheel instruction.

At Northwest, you can expect to find outstanding classes, both on campus and behind the wheel, that are engaging, fact-filled, entertaining and geared toward success. We make no bones about it, we believe that Northwest provides the best driving lessons in Las Vegas, no matter your age or background. We are proud of the fact that 98% of our students pass their test on the first try. Call us at (702) 403-1592 to start your driving adventure with one of our expert instructors.

Written by
Rich Heinrich
Master Instructor, Emeritus

Instructor and Office Administrator

Frankie works and karaoke's in Las Vegas but his out-of-doors-heart is still out East. Born in Boston, Frankie loves the snow and mountains. As an avid snowboarder, Frankie has never seen a snow day he didn't LOVE! A graduate from…Read More