January 9, 2018 9.27 am This story is over 46 months old

Drivers warned after 90 ambulance crashes in eight months

Blue lights behind you? Don’t panic

East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) is reminding drivers how to react to oncoming blue lights after ambulance crews were involved in 90 road traffic collisions in eight months, which were not their fault.

Between April and November 2017, 90 non-fault insurance claims were made by EMAS.

The service is now asking drivers to remember to look out for flashing blue lights and listen out for sirens, particularly at junctions, and not to panic when they do see them.

What to do if you see flashing blue lights coming through:

  • Don’t brake suddenly, stay calm and give yourself time to plan your next move
  • Look for somewhere to pull over and stop if it is safe
  • If there is nowhere to safely pull over continue to travel at normal road speed – the driver of the ambulance will look for a safe place to overtake you
  • Be aware that there may be more than one emergency vehicle coming through so listen out for sirens and check around you for more blue flashing lights before moving off
  • Do not try to out-run the emergency vehicle

Steve Farnsworth, General Manager of Fleet at EMAS, said: “Our vehicles drive millions of miles each year, much of the time faster than normal, so having some incidents when driving is inevitable.

“However, we are asking motorists sharing the roads with our ambulance crews to be vigilant when checking for flashing blue lights at junctions and in their mirrors.

“Each time one of our ambulances is damaged or involved in a collision, it cannot be used to respond to patients experiencing an emergency. By double checking for blue lights, you can help to reduce the number of collisions.”

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