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Road Safety, Awareness, and Emergency Vehicles

Posted on 5/29/2024 by Erik H. Reisner

Road Safety, Awareness, and Emergency Vehicles

The technology becoming standard in many new cars, trucks, and SUVs is amazing! Back-up cameras, lane assist, blind spot monitors, and parking assist are just a few of the basics when it comes to new vehicle technology. Some manufacturers even have cars that essentially drive themselves. Incredible!

However, all this technology can lead us humans to get lazy about our responsibilities behind the wheel. Many drivers are simply getting complacent in their obligations as operators of very heavy and potentially deadly vehicles. Some of this “great” technology has led to accidents that could have been easily avoided if the drivers had been paying attention to the road and surrounding environment.

Up here in rural Vermont, many of the paved roads do not have well marked center and “fog” lines, other roads are dirt/gravel, and both are often twisty and steep. So, a lot of this slick innovative technology simply does not work well on Vermont roadways.

Another thing that is unique to the roads in rural Vermont and other parts of New England is many of the emergency services (Fire and EMS) are volunteer organizations. Unlike larger municipalities and cities that have full-time, paid Fire Fighters, EMTs (Emergency Medical Technicians), and Paramedics that staff their Fire Houses and Ambulance Stations. Our First Responders typically respond from their home or workplace, sometimes directly to the scene of the incident, and sometimes to the stations to pick up the needed emergency apparatuses.

These First Responders often have flashing red or red/white lights to alert motorists to their presence and need to safely pass to respond to emergencies safely and efficiently. If you see someone approaching in either direction with flashing red or red/white lights, please pull to the side of the road and stop to allow them to pass. Obviously the same goes for Ambulances and Fire Trucks. These larger vehicles may not be traveling as fast, but they are heavy and need ample time to slow down and need to keep momentum up for those steep and windy Vermont Roads.

So, please keep your eyes on the road and surrounding environment, and do not rely on all that technology to keep you safe. An alert and aware driver is a safe driver!


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