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30.10.2015 How to react to sirens

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If you’re a new driver it can be a startling experience; however, it’s crucial to know how to react when your rear-view mirror is suddenly full of flashing blue lights.

The good news is that there’s nothing to worry about, and by following a few simple steps, you can avoid becoming a hazard when an emergency vehicle needs to get past you.

Unfortunately, many road users are unaware of how to react to emergency vehicles, with many drivers simply slamming on the brakes and hoping it’ll get around you. One in three motorists also believe it’s acceptable to go through a red light to get out of an emergency vehicle’s way. Neither of these is the right way to react.

But what should you do when hear sirens?

Listen

When you hear a siren, turn down any music and work out where the sound is coming from; you’ll probably be able to hear an emergency vehicle before you can see it.

Look

Once you’ve spotted the vehicle, you need to work out what you need to do to get out of the way. Keep a look out for a safe place to pull over.

Think

Think of the safest way for the emergency vehicle to get past and leave enough space for them to do so. Don’t mount the kerb or go through a red light, avoid entering a bus lane and try not to stop on a dangerous part of the road, such as on a bend, at the brow of a hill, or on a road with double white lines.

React

Check your mirrors to see if the emergency vehicle is signalling the way they want you to move and try to comply if you can. Come to a stop gradually and remember to use your indicators. Remember, your own safety is your priority.

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