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Survey shows many drivers distracted by emergency vehicles

When emergency vehicles are parked by the side of the road, drivers almost always tend to get distracted. Nevada residents should know that the National Safety Council and the Emergency Responder Safety Institute conducted a survey regarding this trend; below are some of the results.

According to the survey, 73 percent of drivers do move over when they see emergency vehicles parked and with their lights on. This is the correct thing to do. Yet 24 percent said they are unaware of any legal requirement to move over for such vehicles. Eighty percent said they slow down to get a better look whether the emergency vehicle is making a traffic stop or responding to a crash or fire, and this slows down traffic and puts people at risk.

Seventy-one percent said they take photos or videos of emergency vehicles. According to the survey, 66 percent email someone about the incident and 60 percent post on social media about it. They do this while still behind the wheel. It is not surprising, then, that 16 percent of drivers admitted to hitting or nearly hitting a parked emergency vehicle or a first responder who had exited the vehicle.

Only 19 percent recognized that their own inattentive driving may be putting first responders at risk. Sixty-two percent were confident that their driving behavior when passing emergency vehicles is "above average."

Whether it's a first responder or a blameless pedestrian who is involved, car accidents can result in serious injuries that sometimes require life-long medical care. In such cases, victims may want to file a claim against the negligent driver's insurance company. The process of negotiating a settlement, and litigating if one cannot be achieved, is a daunting one, so victims may consider hiring a lawyer. The lawyer might bring in investigators to show just how the driver was distracted.

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