First responders in California and nationwide are at an increased risk of dying in accidents caused by distracted driving, according to a new survey. In 2019, at least 16 emergency workers have been killed by vehicles across the country.
Experts say that emergency responders are particularly vulnerable to distracted drivers because they exit their vehicles to render aid to people who are on or near roadways. Adding to the problem, accident scenes often tempt drivers to engage in dangerous distracted driving activities. According to the survey, which was conducted by the National Safety Council and the Emergency Responder Safety Institute, 80% of drivers slow down to get a better look at accident scenes. In addition, 71% of drivers attempt to take cellphone photos of the scene, 66% send emails about what they've witnessed, and 60% post details about the accident on social media sites.
Meanwhile, 24% of drivers say they are unaware that they are legally required to make way for emergency vehicles at the side of the road, and only 74% say they move over as required when they see an emergency vehicle with its lights on the shoulder of a road. Finally, 74% of drivers say they would prefer that all emergency responders wear reflective clothing.
Individuals injured by distracted drivers may benefit from contacting an attorney about their case. An attorney may be able to carefully assess the situation and explain all legal remedies available. For example, it may be advisable to file a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for current and future medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering and lost wages. If someone is killed in a distracted driving accident, his or her family could sue the responsible driver for funeral expenses, lost income and more.