Your guide to navigating your way around Emergency vehicles
Learning to drive as a young driver is difficult – but often our experience with how to deal with Emergency vehicles is very limited.
This means you may often panic after you’ve passed your test and see those blue flashing lights approach.
Police car, ambulance, or fire engine – whichever Emergency vehicle comes driving past, you should react in the exact same way.
So what exactly should you do?
Check out this useful video below
If you hear a siren or spot the blue flashing lights in your mirror, the typical rule of thumb is to remain calm, look for somewhere safe, and move left to stop.
There are some exemptions to this rule, such as approaching hills – if you are approaching a brow of a hill, for instance, pull over when there’s a better view ahead.
But, what should you do if you are being pulled over yourself?
How to react if you are being pulled over by the Police?
Firstly, do not panic – if you have done nothing wrong, then you will be absolutely fine. Sometimes these are just routine stops and do not need a reason.
Police have powers to stop any vehicle and ask for your details (Name, date of birth, driving licence, insurance details, and MOT documents). So, if you find yourself in this situation…
Just follow these steps:
1. Just as you would if you were clearing the road for Emergency service vehicles, pull over when it is safe to do so.
2. Stay calm, lower your window and turn your inside light on.
3. Be polite and provide your details only when prompted.
4. Listen to Officer(s) and why they have pulled you over. If they give you a fine, or penalty at the roadside, do not become argumentative – you can plead your case in court if required.
5. Be aware of imposters – especially if they are claiming to be using an ‘unmarked police car’. Play it safe and ring 999 to check the authenticity of the supposed Police officers (Tip: Police officers need to be wearing uniform to carry out the stop).
6. After you have finished talking to the officers, take a minute to relax, before heading back on the road again – if you are shaken up, take as long as you need, but make sure you are safe to remain where you are, and not blocking traffic.
What to do if an Emergency vehicle crashes into you?
Nobody can ever accurately know when they are going to get in an accident – but, these happen from time to time – even Emergency vehicles crash every so often.
But what should you do if your car is damaged as a result of an Emergency vehicle (Police or Ambulance)?
Well, you should respond exactly how you would in any other accident scenario:
1. Check that everybody involved is OK – ring 999 if anybody is suspected to be injured, or unconscious.
2. Take details of everybody involved (Name, address, registration plate, station name) – although, you must be aware that these details may be difficult to acquire if the Police car or Ambulance need to leave to attend an incident.
If you are unable to get any details, then…
3. Make note of the location of the accident, take pictures of your vehicle, talk to witnesses, and record the time of the incident (this is important). Just because the Police car, or Ambulance has driven off, it doesn’t mean that you won’t get the compensation you deserve. Call the relevant emergency service to help identify the driver of the Police car/ Ambulance.
Emergency service vehicles are often fitted with black boxes, so finding out who bumped into you shouldn’t be a problem – especially if you have the time of the incident.
4. Give us, your insurance provider a call on 0333 103 7897 to report the accident and inform us of the situation. We can help resolve the issue with the relevant Emergency service, but it helps if you can give us all the information you can remember.