The most common causes of ambulance crashes

Written by
Abraham Jaros
Updated on Tuesday, Feb 20, 2024

Ambulance drivers have difficult tasks to perform. When they get a distress call, they have to drive as fast as they can to the victim, carefully place them with additional medics in the back, and speed back to the hospital all while trying to navigate through New York’s dreadful traffic.

With so much to balance, it’s understandable why these drivers have such a high risk of crashing into other vehicles and pedestrians. While there are plenty of ambulance drivers that have saved thousands of lives through their actions, there are also some that have endangered others from their conduct. In New York, millions of people can come across these emergency vehicles on a daily basis whether they are driving, walking or biking to work, so it is important to know what causes these motorists to crash frequently.


With how fast ambulances go to get a patient where they need to go, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this is one of the most common ways these drivers injure themselves and others. Even though most of these emergency vehicles contain someone who’s life is on the line, that person could be further at risk if the driver prioritizes speed over safety.

Combining this with poor weather conditions and the dark sky at night can make for a recipe in disaster. Last December, an ambulance driver in Tennessee demonstrated this when he lost control on a curve during a rainy night. The crash ejected both the patient and paramedic and killed them both.


Ambulance drivers work long shifts and have stressful jobs that require them to be on high alert. They need to pace themselves and rest whenever they get the opportunity to so they can remain focused behind the wheel.

Last September, an ambulance driver in Poughkeepsie crashed into a tree when he during a patient transport. Prior to the incident, the man had no prior records of sleep deprivation or negligent driving. It shows how even the most seasoned drivers are still vulnerable to exhaustion on the job.

Avoiding other cars

There are several occasions where an ambulance crash isn’t completely the driver’s fault. New York drivers are expected to pull over once they hear the siren or see the ambulance lights flashing in their mirrors.

Unfortunately, some can panic or fail to see the emergency vehicle come from the opposite direction and put both parties and unlucky pedestrians in danger. As a result, ambulance drivers may try to shift course to avoid an accident only to cause another one.

While ambulance drivers do have stressful positions that require quick action, they must prioritize the safety of their passengers and anyone else on New York’s crowded streets. If you or a loved one suffer at the hands of an inattentive ambulance driver, consider contacting a local motor vehicle accident attorney to help you recover from the incident.

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