State law is very clear: If you see an emergency vehicle coming from either direction, you are required to pull over to the right as best you can to make way.
The penalty ranges from a $50 fine for the first offense to a year in prison and license suspension for subsequent offenses. And worse, you may not be risking not only your life, but that of the emergency crew, other drivers, and, of course, the patient.
Ambulance drivers receive training from their departments, which could include defensive driving strategies and simulator training.
The driver of an ambulance is barraged by incoming information that demands attention: the condition of the patient and what’s happening with treatment, road and weather conditions, control of the lights and siren, the chatter from two or three radios, the emotional status of a family member riding in the passenger seat, and the actions of other drivers.
While it might seem like the ambulance is speeding down the road, in most cases, drivers aren’t exceeding the speed limit.
Let’s say you’re driving down the road and an ambulance comes up behind you or towards you. What does state law say you are required to do?
Oh, did we mention your answer could be a matter of life or death?
a) Immediately come to a full stop.
b) Pullover as far as you can to the right side of the road then stop.
c) Stay in your lane but slow down to less than 20 mph.
d) Keep driving fast enough to stay ahead of it.
If you answered anything but (b), you need to review your driving lessons.
For more safe driving information or safe driving practices, A-1 Driving Schools has 19 convenient locations around metro Atlanta that all offer defensive driving courses! For more information please call (770)962-9555 or visit us at www.a1drivingschools.com!