Author Topic: When driving, what do you do when you hear sirens?  (Read 1131 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

jpcher

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8474
When driving, what do you do when you hear sirens?
« on: September 21, 2013, 04:11:33 AM »
I always slow down, pull over to the right and stop. If at an intersection (turning left, where it's not possible to pull over) when I have the green light, I stop.

What if you can't see the emergency vehicle? Do you still follow the above rules?


Yesterday when I was coming home from work, I was a few cars back in the left turn lane. We got the green arrow (the people going through the intersection still had a red light), a couple of cars went through and I heard sirens.

I didn't see an emergency vehicle to my left, or to the front nor behind and there was a van blocking the view on my right. So I stopped. The guy behind me immediately started beeping his horn. I thought "What? You can't hear the sirens? I'm suppse to stop!"

Then the sirens got softer and a man's voice started talking.

Thats when I realized that the sirens I was hearing was coming from the radio. :-[


Has that ever happened to you?

Not the first time for me.





Dragons 8 Cactus

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3264
  • Aussie's Rule
Re: When driving, what do you do when you hear sirens?
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2013, 05:56:33 AM »
I change radio stations whenever I hear sirens. just to check.

Yes, I may or may not have done the same as you. (lips sealed) haha

of and yes, I get off the road asap when the siren is Real

                          The Southern Cross Flag. Australia

gollymolly2

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2538
Re: When driving, what do you do when you hear sirens?
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2013, 06:07:47 AM »
Seems like more of a legal thing. When I hear sirens, I scoot to the left or right, depending on what lane I'm in. I don't think you should stop in the intersection though- that seems counterproductive.  I looked up my state's law, and it said:

Quote
You must yield the right-of-way to any police vehicle, fire engine, ambulance, or other emergency vehicle using a siren and red lights. Drive to the right edge of the road and stop until the emergency vehicle(s) have passed. However, never stop in an intersection. If you are in an intersection when you see an emergency vehicle, continue through the intersection and then, drive to the right as soon as it is safe and stop. Emergency vehicles often use the wrong side of the street to continue on their way. They sometimes use a loud speaker to talk to drivers blocking their path.

kherbert05

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 9934
    • Trees downed in my yard by Ike and the clean up
Re: When driving, what do you do when you hear sirens?
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2013, 07:39:39 AM »
I get out of the way the safest way possible. I don't listen to terrestrial radio, but have podcast playing in the car usually.  I turn it off/down if I hear sirens, just so I can get a better feel for the direction. One of the podcasts used to use sirens as a sound effect occasionally. Listeners wrote in to explain why that was not the best idea since more people download and listen or stream while driving. The podcast apologized and stopped.
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

Sharnita

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 21246
Re: When driving, what do you do when you hear sirens?
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2013, 08:08:51 AM »
I would make sure it wssn't the radio first. I I do think the radio should avoid commercials and programs with sirens for that reason.

Psychopoesie

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 643
Re: When driving, what do you do when you hear sirens?
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2013, 08:20:14 AM »
I usually turn the radio down to check which direction the sirens are coming from. In doing this, I've often found the sirens were coming from the radio. A lot of music seems to incorporate siren sounds which is really irritating when you're driving.

As for what I do if the sirens are real - follow the road rules. Here that means pulling over to the left (we drive on the left), slowing down or not going through an intersection, even though you'd normally be right to go (e.g. green light).

There was a recent ad campaign here that encouraged people to do the right thing. Must admit I never realised they wanted us to go up on the curb to let them through if needs be (not something I'd try in my little car).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vev22Lwz3nk



HoneyBee42

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 509
Re: When driving, what do you do when you hear sirens?
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2013, 08:43:25 AM »
I usually turn the radio down to check which direction the sirens are coming from. In doing this, I've often found the sirens were coming from the radio. A lot of music seems to incorporate siren sounds which is really irritating when you're driving.

As for what I do if the sirens are real - follow the road rules. Here that means pulling over to the left (we drive on the left), slowing down or not going through an intersection, even though you'd normally be right to go (e.g. green light).

There was a recent ad campaign here that encouraged people to do the right thing. Must admit I never realised they wanted us to go up on the curb to let them through if needs be (not something I'd try in my little car).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vev22Lwz3nk

Yes, I'd get over to the side, but I don't think that I could go up on the curb without severely damaging my car (I drive a sedan), though I suppose if one drives some sort of SUV it'd be doable.  Here, at least, emergency vehicles are equipped with some sort of flasher that will change traffic signals to give them a green light so that anyone blocking the road due to being stopped at a red light would be able to proceed and get out of the way.

I always have a horrible time figuring out the direction of the sirens when I'm downtown, so I will wait to see the flashing lights to determine how to best get out/stay out of the way.  I do like the rumblers that are kind of a "new" thing--it's much easier to tell the direction it's coming from.


Piratelvr1121

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10489
Re: When driving, what do you do when you hear sirens?
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2013, 09:18:29 AM »
I pull over to the side, but I'm never quite sure what to do if I'm stuck at a red light and there's an emergency vehicle coming up behind. If I'm in the right hand lane and can pull into a shoulder, turn right or pull into a parking lot, I will.  Or on the left and pull into a median but in the middle?

Thankfully that hasn't happened.

And I hate when songs use sirens. Always has me checking my mirrors!
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

VorFemme

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12258
  • Strolls with scissors! Too tired to run today!
Re: When driving, what do you do when you hear sirens?
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2013, 10:03:16 AM »
A few years ago now, there was a HUGE fire (semi dodged a small car coming out of a gas station and the semi caught fire).

But the why did they do that?? came from the police trying to get us around the gas station by directing us to the street that ran behind it - where the fire truck was trying to go, too - and there were deep ditches on either side of a road barely two cars wide & no shoulder or other flat place to pull off to the side on (fifteen or twenty vehicles going into the ditches didn't seem like a good idea to ME).  So we had to drive up to get to a business with a parking lot wide enough to turn into it and then get back on the main road and make a right (so we'd be driving away from the fire)...it was a mess.

If there is no place to pull to the side - having firemen walk down the road telling you to pull as far off the road as you can is not going to help enough to get a WIDE firetruck enough space to go down a road barely wide enough for two cars and a motorcycle......
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

PeterM

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3296
Re: When driving, what do you do when you hear sirens?
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2013, 10:27:34 AM »
The first thing I do is make sure I'm hearing actual sirens and not just something my brain vaguely interprets as sirens, which seems to happen a lot for reasons I don't understand.

If it's real sirens, the law here says pull over and stop. In practice most cars turn that into slow down and wait to react if necessary, so I generally do that as well if I'm in traffic. If I'm on the northbound side of a two lane highway, for example, and there's an ambulance coming towards me on the south-bound lane traffic generally doesn't come to a complete stop if the ambulance has a good amount of room on its side of the road. Everyone slows down and prepares to stop if the ambulance turns, but it generally keeps going and so do we. If there's a lot of traffic on the ambulance's side cars on the other side will move to the outside lane and stop or at least slow to a crawl, allowing the ambulance to get by in the inside wrong-way lane. It sounds like the behavior of a bunch of dangerous scofflaws, but it actually works really well in practice. Oregonians seem to run late yellow and early red lights with amazing regularity, but they're impressively good about letting emergency vehicles through. And I've never once seen a car speeding along behind an emergency vehicle in order to run red lights, which I saw all the time back in Boston.

siamesecat2965

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8213
Re: When driving, what do you do when you hear sirens?
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2013, 10:35:43 AM »
The first thing I do is make sure I'm hearing actual sirens and not just something my brain vaguely interprets as sirens, which seems to happen a lot for reasons I don't understand.

If it's real sirens, the law here says pull over and stop. In practice most cars turn that into slow down and wait to react if necessary, so I generally do that as well if I'm in traffic. If I'm on the northbound side of a two lane highway, for example, and there's an ambulance coming towards me on the south-bound lane traffic generally doesn't come to a complete stop if the ambulance has a good amount of room on its side of the road. Everyone slows down and prepares to stop if the ambulance turns, but it generally keeps going and so do we. If there's a lot of traffic on the ambulance's side cars on the other side will move to the outside lane and stop or at least slow to a crawl, allowing the ambulance to get by in the inside wrong-way lane. It sounds like the behavior of a bunch of dangerous scofflaws, but it actually works really well in practice. Oregonians seem to run late yellow and early red lights with amazing regularity, but they're impressively good about letting emergency vehicles through. And I've never once seen a car speeding along behind an emergency vehicle in order to run red lights, which I saw all the time back in Boston.

I do this too. I will also add, that if I'm about to head into an intersection, i.e. the light is turning green, and I hear sirens, I will hesitate for a moment, to make sure they aren't coming the opposite way, against the red light. I did that a couple of weeks ago, and good thing I did, as I would have been creamed by the ambulance had I just pulled out the instant the light turned.

I was turning left out of a shopping center, the light turned green, and I went about 3 inches before hearing the siren. No one behind me, so I stopped, just in time to see an ambulance coming on my left. Its a bit of a blind spot, so no way I could have seen him without the siren.

artk2002

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12559
    • The Delian's Commonwealth
Re: When driving, what do you do when you hear sirens?
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2013, 10:41:03 AM »
Since I live and work in an urban area, it's quite possible that the siren is on an entirely different street; I'm not going to actually pull over until I see the vehicle's lights. I first listen to determine if the vehicle is approaching or moving away from me. If it's moving closer, I begin a more rapid scan of my mirrors and ahead to see if I can see it. I also start looking for ways that I can get out of the way if I need to. Once I see the vehicle and determine that I'm in its path, I try to pull to the side and stop, since that's what they law requires.

California law says that you do not have to pull over if the emergency vehicle is on the other side of a divided roadway. That's with some physical divider, not just a line.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Wordgeek

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1965
Re: When driving, what do you do when you hear sirens?
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2013, 01:24:17 PM »
Please obey the law when you are driving, as at other times.  If you do not know the law in your area, look it up.

Topic closed.