Although fire trucks are emergency rescue vehicles often associated with saving lives, they have been known to cause serious traffic accidents, resulting in serious injuries and wrongful deaths. Speeding through the streets with their sirens blazing, fire trucks are commonly driven recklessly, as drivers are anxious to get to the scene of an emergency as fast as possible. Given such speed and possible recklessness, along with the weight of fire trucks, even the slightest miscalculation, lapse in judgment or act of carelessness by a fire truck driver can result in devastating accidents.
As with most other accidents involving large trucks, fire truck crashes tend to harm those outside of the fire truck, i.e. pedestrians, bicyclists or other drivers, more than those inside of the truck, as the truck provides more protection and impacts greater damage than most other vehicles. Ambulances, fire rescue vehicles and police cruisers are other emergency response vehicles that, like fire trucks, have been known to cause serious, fatal accidents.
Risk Factors for Fire Truck Accidents
Fire accidents are more likely to occur when:
- Fire trucks are racing through busy highways
- Fire truck drivers (or drivers of other passenger vehicles) are inexperienced, fatigued and/or intoxicated
- Drivers of other vehicles fail to pullover and allow fire trucks to pass (This can be due to recklessness or an inability to hear fire truck sirens due to city noise, loud music or the car's sound proofing.)
- Pedestrians or cyclists fail to yield to speeding fire trucks
Recent Fire Truck Accidents
- In January 2010 in New York, 3 firefighters were injured when a passenger vehicle collided with a fire truck. The driver of the passenger vehicle was uninjured.
- In December 2009 in Florida, an 88 year old woman died when the Hyundai she was riding in rear-ended a fire truck. No one in the fire truck was injured.
- In January 2009 in Massachusetts, a firefighter was killed when the brakes in the fire truck he was in failed and the truck crashed into a concrete wall.
- In October 2008 in Missouri, 8 firefighters were seriously injured when two fire trucks t-boned at the scene of a fire – presumably because the drivers of both trucks were distracted by the fire's smoke.
If you or a loved one has sustained a fire truck accident, or your loved one has died in a fire truck accident, contact our truck accident lawyers for legal advice. We will evaluate the details of your case to determine if you have a legitimate claim.