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Distracted driving puts emergency responders at risk

First responders in Louisiana and across the U.S. are under constant threat from distracted drivers, according to a recent survey released by the National Safety Council and the Emergency Responder Safety Institute. As a result, safety advocates are urging drivers to use more caution when driving past emergency scenes.

Federal statistics show that 37 people were killed in collisions with police cars, ambulances and fire trucks in 2013. Another 17,028 were injured. Over the first three months of 2019, 16 emergency responders were struck and killed by motor vehicles. According to the survey, 40% of emergency workers feel that the danger of being hit by passing vehicles is one of the risks of their job.

The poll also found that 62% of drivers claim to have “above average” driving skills when passing emergency vehicles with flashing lights stopped at the side of the road. However, 80% admit they slow down to get a better view of emergency scenes as they go by, which can cause safety hazards and start traffic backups. In addition, 24% of drivers admit they weren’t aware of traffic laws that tell drivers what to do when passing emergency vehicles on the side of the road, and 19% of drivers say their distracted driving has likely put emergency workers at risk. Finally, 74% of drivers want emergency responders to wear high-visibility reflective clothing to make them easy to see.

Emergency workers or other individuals who have been injured by a distracted driver could be owed compensation for their suffering and financial losses. A lawyer familiar with motor vehicle accident claims may be able to evaluate a victim’s case and help file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible driver. This might lead to a settlement for medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of income, property loss and more.

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