Four people were injured in an accident involving an ambulance and a tractor-trailer a few weeks ago, according to Stltoday.com. The crash happened at about 7:50pm on Interstate 55 near Hamel, north of Edwardsville. Illinois State Police stated that an ambulance was in the right lane responding to a medical emergency at the I-55 rest area when it made a sudden turn and was then struck by a tractor-trailer following behind it. As a result, the ambulance overturned and both drivers of the vehicles suffered injuries, in addition to one passenger in each vehicle. All four people were taken to a nearby hospital and treated for their injuries. The report states that no charges were issued, and no further information is available.
Though it is not specified who was ultimately responsible for the accident, motor vehicle crashes involving ambulances have become an increasing source of public concern, posing a serious risk to drivers, passengers, and patients. In this post, our attorneys will list ambulance crash statistics, address ambulance crash characteristics, and project the magnitude and severity of risks involved, hoping to increase awareness in relation to these accidents and help all motorists remain safe while sharing the road with ambulances.
Ncbi.com states that throughout the last decade, 399 ambulance accidents caused 405 fatalities and 838 injuries in the U.S. Authorities believe that given there are close to 50,000 ambulances on the road on any particular day, it is likely there were even more collisions than those making headlines. In 2011, a total of 39 people suffered a range of injures in these accidents, many of these individuals actually being ambulance drivers and crew members themselves.
After analyzing all fatal ambulance accidents on U.S. public roadways throughout the last decade, data shows that these accidents occurred most often between 12-6pm, on straight and dry roads, and almost always at intersections (41%). Ambulances were commonly hit by other vehicles as they attempted to go through intersections and vice versa, sometimes happening when ambulances traveled against red lights to reach their destination. In these accidents, a greater amount of injuries fell upon those who were not in the ambulance.
Moreover, about 10% of ambulances collided with one another on roadways, or with other emergency response vehicles like fire trucks or police cruisers. Most crashes and fatalities also occurred during emergency use, when ambulance drivers simply lost control of their vehicle while traveling at excessive speeds. Finally, our attorneys were surprised to learn that last year, 16 accidents had some connection to the use of alcohol or drugs, most commonly by civilian motorists but also by ambulance crew members in some cases.
Authorities say emergency medical service directors are attempting to develop more ambulance operation and risk management policies. Many believe that crash and injury reduction programs should address improved intersection control, screening to identify high-risk drivers, appropriate restraint use, and design modifications to decrease the likelihood of ambulance damage in collisions.
As one can see, collisions with ambulances can occur under many conditions and have the potential to be life threatening. Our attorneys hope that by knowing the above information, drivers will stay alert for all emergency vehicles, react appropriately if an emergency vehicle is approaching, and drive responsibly to prevent the risk of an accident occurring. As always, it is encouraged to remain attentive, use good judgment, and follow the rules of the road.
Our Illinois truck accident law firm provides qualified legal representation to individuals and families who have been in an accident as the result of negligent motorists. We are willing to assist you if you or someone you know has suffered personal injury, medical expenses, or property damage as the result of an ambulance accident. Please contact our lawyers at Levin & Perconti to find out if legal recourse may be available to you.