Using turn signals and four way flashers when responding

metro9

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I've always thought that when you're already responding/transporting at code3 (lights and sirens), you no longer need to use your four way flashers and you should still be polite enough to use your turn signals when turning.

Apparently some local drivers are not into this and contend that it is the other motorists responsibility to get the hell of the way and that the hazard lamps (4 way turn signal flashers) should be used as the ambulance can turn in any direction at any moment. I'm thinking they're just too damn lazy to use turn signals because most rigs here have manual transmissions.

What do you guys do? Thanks!
 

abckidsmom

Dances with Patients
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No 4 way flashers, use turn signals. Do whatever you can to communicate your intentions with the other drivers on the road.
 

ArcticKat

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^^Agreed, I've never seen anyone but Vollie Fire Truck Drivers in their POVs use 4 way flashers. Using them on the ambulance during a response is dangerous and irresponsible. It's as though the driver is intentionally trying to hide his turning intentions and using that as an excuse to "be in the right" if he causes an accident.

I know up here that it is actually illegal to drive with 4 way flashers in operation and that the driver would be responsible for any accidents he causes by using them.
 

Chimpie

Site Administrator
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Apparently some local drivers are not into this and contend that it is the other motorists responsibility to get the hell of the way and that the hazard lamps (4 way turn signal flashers) should be used as the ambulance can turn in any direction at any moment...

The bold part just made me laugh.

Does the driver not have any control of the ambulance? Oh, he does? Then he can signal his intention.

Thousands of drivers drive stick-shifts everyday and use their turn signals just fine.
 

Fish

Forum Deputy Chief
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I always use my turn signals, anything I can do to avoid a crash I will.


More important question, Manual Transmish in an Ambulance? Crazy, I have never heard of that.
 

JPINFV

Gadfly
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Regardless of what I'm driving, I want to be as predictable as possible when driving. This includes things like turn signals.
 
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metro9

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The majority of local vehicles sold are equipped with sticks. The government issued Foton View (made in China) vans are not available with slushboxes.

Private ambulance companies mostly use the Toyota Hiace van (A/T available only on the fancy blinged-out version) or the ancient Nissan Urvan E24 series (in production since 1988?) with no a/t option available. :)
 
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FourLoko

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glad I stumbled into this thread, went Code 3 on the last day of my driver training and DID use the turn signals as well

was questioning myself afterward, guess it does make sense
 
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metro9

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Government issued Foton View. As it comes out of the dealership. Your hospital/brigade/organization supplies your own accessories:
view-ambulance.jpg

rear.jpg

rear-open.jpg


Toyota Hiace (from the company I work for. We also have Type II's and box units, mostly Fords):
Blinker-AEROMED-Manila-Doctors-03.jpg.jpg


Nissan Urvan E24 (couldn't find a local one, this one is from NZ):
YY4162.JPG


Current model Nissan Urvan (couldn't find a local one, too. But you get the idea):
IMG_0007.jpg
 
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ArcticKat

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Awwwwww, are they ever cute!!! Can I have one? :)
 

mycrofft

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Coneheads.

When someone says "it is the other motorists responsibility to get the hell of the way and that the hazard lamps (4 way turn signal flashers) should be used as the ambulance can turn in any direction at any moment, above all else do not ever go hunting with them.
Emergency vehicles are subject to all the laws other cars have plus a couple.



And there is no such thing as a legal "code 2" where you go sorta fast, or use lights but no siren and demand right of way..
 

JPINFV

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Because I'm anal about this sort of thing...


Emergency vehicles are subject to all the laws other cars have plus a couple.


Actually, emergency vehicles with emergency lights are generally exempt from most to all laws with the provision that any accident is due to a failure to drive without due regard.



And there is no such thing as a legal "code 2" where you go sorta fast, or use lights but no siren and demand right of way..

Depends on the state (California the siren only needs to be sounded prudently), however I wouldn't want to be in the position to explain how I got broadsided without my siren on. That said, this is a call to use judgement, not a stupid "lights on sirens on" mantra.
 

Handsome Robb

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In Nevada ambulance and fire have to use lights and siren as a pair, it's all or none, police are allowed to pick and choose depending on the situation.

That being said if its the middle of the night and we are rolling into a neighborhood hot we will usually shut down our sirens and only chirp them if we encounter another car on the road.
 

mycrofft

Still crazy but elsewhere
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Locally and having been talking to our sheriff's dept for twenty years):

1. Speed limit applies, siren and lights only request clearance to allow free progress. (Right, that really works;)).
2. Lights and siren do not allow an emergency vehicle to blow through a stop sign or red signal; signal switching strobes help with the latter, but you still have to make sure you are entering the intersection safely. Not the other drivers' responsibility.
3. You cannot tailgate, make unnecessary lane changes or swerves or stops unexpectedly.
4. You can park in a fire zone when on an emergency call so long as it doesn't interfere with firefighting operations. Or if you are driving a fire truck.
5. You have to meet emission standards.
6. You cannot legally drive over center dividers unless they are designed for emergency vehicles to do so, then it has to be done safely, which means stopping.
7. Exhibition of speed and racing are forbidden.
8. You do have to signal stops and turns and have functioning lights of the usual sort. (Can you even use hand signals anymore?).
9. You cannot ignore a train crossing signal or gate.
10. You cannot leave the roadway (i.e., drive along the shoulder) unsafely.

OK, you can drive the wrong way if it is safe, you can pass on the right if it is safe, you can drive along on the shoulder or in the left turn lane if it is safe. If it goes wrong, you have to demonstrate why you thought it was safe.

The point is that no one operating any motor vehicle can point to the other driver and say "It was his responsibility to make sure my actions were safe" when common prudent and legal practice is ignored.

Or maybe I'm talking to the OG deputies at Denny's too much.
 
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DrParasite

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My partner used to always say how I used my turn signals in the ambulances more when I had my L&S on than when I was without. never used my 4 ways with my L&S.

driving with your 4 ways on is illegal, dangerous, and stupid. you lose your turn signals. Due regard exception aside, it's still a bad thing to do.

whomever though this was a good idea, and spread it to all the young volunteers in town, needs to be beaten severely and have their license yanked.
 

svfd21emt

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If your that lazy to be using your turn signals then you probably shouldn't be driving the ambulance as far as i'm concerned.
 

MrBrown

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The most dangerous part of any job is driving there so let's drive to arrive alive

Locally we call four-way flashers "hazard lights" and will turn them on if we park the ambulance someplace other than a parking space; e.g. side of the road, road traffic accident, accessway, sticking out into traffic (it's not easy to get a big Merc box into a little biddy parking space designed for Nana's one ton Honda)

Ask anybody who has had me drive, they will tell you I am absolutely religiously anal about using turn signals and checking mirrors, I'm bloody mental particular looking for hazards and things in blind spots.

For somebody who likes to look in the mirrors so often, I can't seem to get the hang of reversing using only them :D
 

mycrofft

Still crazy but elsewhere
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Looked into deaths on the job for EMS (the murder thing?)

#1 cause of death on the job was MVA's.
 

Tigger

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For somebody who likes to look in the mirrors so often, I can't seem to get the hang of reversing using only them :D

Me neither, something about not being able to figure out where the ambulance is in relation to everything else. I've made myself back my car into every spot using only the mirrors, so hopefully I'll improve some.
 
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