Recently this personal injury law firm represented the driver of an ambulance that was struck by another vehicle while driving in the far left lane on I-95 in Broward County, Florida. The other vehicle (underinsured) suffered a blown tire, causing that driver to lose control and strike the ambulance. The ambulance our client was operating then flipped over, several times, while skidding across the highway until it finally came to rest on the right shoulder of the highway.
Not only was the Patient seriously injured, but so was the ambulance attendant, as well as client the driver. While the patient was presumably secured to the gurney in the back and the gurney’s wheels were locked, there where very little other safety features that were present in that or similar ambulances.
An article was recently published entitled, DEVELOPMENT OF PROPOSED CRASH TEST PROCEDURES FOR AMBULANCE VEHICLES. The article started off discussing the unusual interior environment of an ambulance vehicle, particularly with regards to occupant/patient protection issues and considering the occupants various orientations and all of the different equipment that’s contained inside of the ambulance. According to this article, the United States is some 30 years behind current automotive safety technology when it comes to ambulance vehicle occupant protection.
While the article describes ambulances or EMS service vehicles as “Lifesavers” racing through the streets to provide emergency medical care, the concern is raised as to how safe these vehicles are and to what standards are they designed and tested.
Unfortunately the study highlighted the fact that there are no crashworthiness safety test procedures and guidelines that pertain to ambulance vehicles in the United States. Statistically automobile crashes are the most likely cause of a work-related fatality among EMS workers. And just as was unfortunately proved out in our ambulance case, the rear passenger compartment has been proven to be the most dangerous. The numbers of ambulance crashes in the United States a quite staggering. With over 4000 reportable crashes per year in United States and approximately one fatal crash for a week in United States the numbers of very staggering and do call for certain considerations to improve occupant safety. It is quite ironic that the same vehicles that come to rescue you from danger and in the same token be a source of considerable further danger.
For further information please free to contact the Weston Auto Accident Attorneys at the Schulman Law Group at 954-349-3300, 1-877-529-0444 or at email@example.com