EMS Tips – Roadside Near Miss for Sheriff’s Deputy – Autonomous Vehicles

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1. Distracted (dangerous) driver?

Of the environments emergency respsonders regularly operate there is place more dangerous than the roadside. The Adams County (Wis.) Sheriff’s office shared this dashcam video of a deputy who was nearly hit by pick-up truck.

An explanation for the driver’s behavior wasn’t shared in the post. It’s not a leap to suspect distraction, drug or alcohol intoxication or poor visibility (frost on the window).

2. Roadside operations

When conditions, resources and personnel allow:

  • Move as far off the road as possible
  • Position a spotter to look upstream for oncoming traffic
  • Use vehicles to block the scene
  • Don high-visibility clothing
  • Activate emergency lights/flashers

Read more about accident scene situational awareness.

3. Collision avoidance technology

I am bullish and optimistic about the rapid integration of collision avoidance and autonomous driving technology in passenger vehicles, as well as fleet vehicles like ambulances and police cars. Vehicle sensors that can either recognize a disabled/stopped vehicle or receive a transmission from a stopped emergency vehicle could automatically slow the vehicle and audibly/visibly warn the driver.