It’s happened to all of us, peacefully motoring along in the family car, and from out of nowhere there’s a fire engine in your rearview mirror. What happens next can be smooth and easy, or confusing and disastrous.

State law says that motorists must yield the right of way, pull over to the right as far as possible and stop, allowing the emergency vehicle to pass.

Well, that’s easy to say – but hard to do, especially in heavy traffic. If you can’t get to the right of the road, stay where you are and let the emergency vehicles drive around you. Whatever you do, don’t jeopardize anyone else’s safety, and don’t panic.

Many times emergency vehicles travel in groups, and not necessarily from the same direction. So if you have just gotten out of the way for one emergency vehicle, expect to see another unit.

Here are some tips on not getting surprised while driving:

  1. Always drive defensively. Be aware of the possible problems around you.
  2. Check your mirrors on a regular basis.
  3. Keep your radio volume down. You never know, maybe those emergency vehicles are responding to an emergency in your neighborhood.