Fire trucks throughout the United States operate in emergency service, contributing to the likelihood of a motor vehicle accident, especially in heavy traffic. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that over 2,000 fire Truck accidents occur throughout the country each and every year. On average, more than 1,000 injuries are associated with these fire truck accidents, raising concerns of motorists across the nation.
While fire trucks tend to travel low mileage, there are a number of factors that contribute to the amount of fire truck accidents taking place each year. Not only are fire engines enormous and heavy, but they are traveling at high speeds when they are en route to address a fire. Not only are these vehicles rushing to get to a destination, but they must do so while weaving in and out of traffic, often stopping traffic to get through intersections and other busy streets.
Gordon & Doner has dedicated many years to building a strong reputation throughout the state of Florida. In this time, we have become deeply rooted in the Florida community, proudly representing accident victims and fighting for their fair compensation. We believe that when the negligence of another person causes injury or harm to you and your family, that party must be held liable. If you or a loved one have been injured in a crash with a fire engine, a fire truck accident lawyer from Gordon & Doner is here for you.
Causes of Fire Truck Accidents
Some reports indicate that fire truck accidents may occur as many as twice a week in some of the more populous cities in Florida. While all fire trucks have sirens loudly blaring, honking horns, and lights flashing, some highly trafficked areas are simply unable to get out of the way. In these cases, an accident is likely and a number of different injuries may occur.
A wide variety of factors contribute to the large number of crashes involving fire trucks. The following are some of the most common causes of a fire truck accident with a passenger car:
Speeding: while fire trucks are legally allowed to drive at speeds higher than the posted limit, this also places the vehicle at risk for an accident
Right of way: fire trucks always have the right of way when heading to a fire. Unfortunately, many drivers fail to get out of the way when a fire truck is rushing through an intersection or busy street
Running a red light
Driver is under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
Pedestrians or debris on the road
Adverse weather conditions
Poor road conditions
When a fire truck is traveling in close proximity to congested streets, the number of potential accidents is enormous. While the fault is typically on the motorists who do not react appropriately to a passing fire truck, there are many, many situations in which an accident may occur. Unfortunately, firefighters are given minimal protection inside of the trucks in which they travel. As more and more motorists enter the roadways, traffic congestion greatly increases the probability of an accident.
The United States Fire Administration (USFA) is responsible for overseeing the safety of the industry as a whole and is an agency of the Department of Homeland Security. According to the USA, motor vehicle collisions are the second leading cause of death for firefighters. As the organization continues to improve safety measures they hope to see a reduction in the number of fire truck accidents.
Sadly, there is often a minimal amount that firefighters can do to avoid an accident, as the leading causes of collisions all stem from some type of driver error. Therefore, all Florida motorists must make a special effort to be aware and alert while operating a vehicle on Florida’s roadways. Whether you are traveling on the highway or on local streets, the likelihood of a fire truck traveling on those same roads is high. As such, be aware that all drivers must get out of the way of a fire truck when the sirens are blaring.
Contact an Experienced Fire Truck Accident Lawyer
Improving the safety of Florida’s roads has always been on the forefront of Gordon & Doner’s mission. We believe that our role in the Florida community will help to shed light on the growing number of motor vehicle collisions taking place. When it comes to fire truck safety, it is imperative for all residents to understand how to behave in the presence of a passing fire truck.
All drivers are instructed to pull over, stop their vehicles, and wait for the fire engine to pass before getting back to driving, regardless of what type of road the driver is traveling along. Adhering to these critical safety laws may be the difference between life and death. If you or a loved one has been involved in a fire truck accident, our Florida personal injury lawyer s are here for you.
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