Distracted Driving a Problem for First Responders

Source: EMR-ISAC

California recently ran numbers for 2013 accidents and found that in about 180 cases, distracted drivers of emergency vehicles were to blame. That number is up from 2012. The statistics include fire trucks, ambulances, and police cars.

The causes of this rise are likely much the same for the rest of the distracted drivers on the road – more mobile technology with more bells and whistles. While first responders now use job-related in-car computers, it is important to note many accidents due to technology-related distracted driving happened when personal cellphones or other devices were being used, and some were linked to hands-free technology.

Agencies are encouraged to review internal policies and guides relating to the use of cellphones (personal or work), in-car computer systems, and other mobile devices. Individual first responders are also urged to be conscious of their driving habits. Place mobile devices away from reach, set the device on a “stand-by” mode, or otherwise ignore it. The lives of the public – and your lives – may depend on it.

Find more tools and resources for safe emergency vehicle operations on the Vehicle Safety Resources page of the NVFC web site.