An Illinois auto accident attorney at our firm pointed out an article posted yesterday by ABC 7 about a serious collision that involved a fire truck and left ten injured. The accident occurred two days ago at a four-way intersection in Chicago when a sedan was in the middle of an intersection, and turned when a fire truck going straight through the intersection hit it. The fire engine was on the way to a medical emergency, with the lights and sirens on, although some witnesses mentioned that the siren wasn’t audible. Six people were pulled out of the sedan by the fire department and taken to the hospital. Four of the firefighters involved were also taken to the hospital, although reports say that they are in good shape. Apparently, “the intersection has long been problematic, in part because a fence along Halsted, they say, can block the view of traffic.” A neighbor who has lived near the intersection for close to 40 years states that he has seen any where in between 10 and 15 accidents occur at the intersection.
After reading this, any Chicago car accident attorney would agree that it is important to go over steps on what to do when you see lights or hear sirens when an emergency vehicle is approaching. Firstly, in cold weather when drivers do not have their windows open and are not able to hear sirens, they should stay alert and aware that flashing lights could be coming at any time. By making sure to check the rearview and side view mirrors frequently, motorists can make sure that they can see vehicles coming.
Also, music in the car should be set a volume where loud sirens and horns can be heard over them. Distractions, such as cellphones, should not be used so drivers have their ears and minds prepared for emergency vehicles. Should a motorist see an emergency vehicle approaching with the lights an sirens on, the Illinois state law requires drivers to yield the right-of-way by pulling over to the side of the road and waiting for the vehicle to pass them.
Our Chicago auto accident lawyers also want to remind drivers, as mentioned in previous posts, that intersections are a place where accidents commonly occur. When approaching an intersection, slow down and make sure that it is clear of pedestrians, motorists, or cyclists before turning or proceeding. At night, make sure that the vehicle’s lights are on, and that the car is moving at a reasonable pace. Drivers should also never try to squeeze through a light, or try turning and clearing another car. By following these tips, we hope that motorists will be safer when driving through intersections, and also know how to respond to emergency vehicles.