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Giving Way to Emergency Vehicle is Crucial in Saving Lives

Rushing your loved one to the hospital onboard an ambulance is and never will be a pleasant sight; not unless it’s your wife who’s about to give birth. The image of trying to revive your closest relative inside an ambulance is obviously the last thing you want to experience. This is the reason why, as motorists, we should be conscious and always give way if we see an ambulance in our rearview mirror. However, giving way to emergency vehicles such as an ambulance is arguably not a norm for all motorists. In fact, giving way to emergency vehicles could be considered a global problem.

In Thailand, the National Institute of Emergency Medicine said that more than 20 percent of patients needing emergency treatment have died on their to the hospital because of “uncooperative motorists.” On the other hand, only 53 percent of drivers in Germany know how to act accordingly when there’s an emergency vehicle approaching.

In the Philippines, there are several instances that motorists ignored the loud siren of an ambulance. One of the instances was reported by GMA News. According to the report, the ambulance was “carrying a patient in critical condition to Philippine General Hospital, but the van supposedly would not let them pass.” The report goes on by saying that the “ambulance then collided with the private van to get through.” This resulted in an argument between the drivers of the ambulance and the van–wow, some motorists in the Philippines are really privileged and feel that they are above the law.

The Land Transportation and Traffic Code or the Republic Act No. 4136 states that “the driver of a vehicle upon a highway shall yield the right of way to police or fire department vehicles and ambulances when such vehicles are operated on official business and the drivers thereof sound audible signal of their approach.”

“The driver of every other vehicle shall immediately drive the same to a position as near as possible and parallel to the right-hand edge or curb of the highway, clear of any intersection of highways, and shall stop and remain in such position, unless otherwise directed by a peace officer, until such vehicle shall have passed.”

Some would argue that how can a car move and make way if it’s stuck in traffic? Well, that might be an issue but motorists should work together and find a way on how to make way for the emergency vehicle. Let’s not just sit and say to ourselves that we can’t do nothing since we’re all stuck in traffic. Remember, every road space count; if there’s a will, there’s a way; kung gusto may paraan, kung ayaw maraming dahilan.

In addition, the government should find ways on how to educate drivers on how to act accordingly when there’s an emergency vehicle approaching. In this way, more drivers would know how to act properly.

To further emphasize the importance of giving way to emergency vehicles, Ford conducted a study and revealed that survival rates for road accident victims can be improved by 40 percent if they receive medical treatment just four minutes more quickly.

The bottom line here is that an emergency vehicle corridor or giving way to emergency vehicles is crucial in saving lives. As such, we should be conscious and give way if we hear and see an emergency vehicle. After all, you would also want your closest relative to make it to the hospital on time, right?

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