Our latest report: Emergency Vehicle Safety Initiative (2014)
A study of public safety emergency vehicle and roadway operations
- Common crash causes and crash prevention.
- The impact of vehicle design and maintenance on safety.
- Internal and external factors for improving response-related safety.
- Regulating emergency vehicle response and roadway scene safety.
- Roadway incident scene safety.
Download "Emergency Vehicle Safety Initiative (2014)" PDF, 7.5 Mb | EPUB, 2 Mb
Emergency vehicle and roadway operations safety resources
- “Emergency Vehicle Safe Operations for Volunteer and Small Combination Emergency Service Organizations” (PDF, 436 Kb). Includes a best practices self-assessment, example standard operating procedures, and behavioral motivation techniques to enhance emergency vehicle safety.
- “Guide to Model Policies and Procedures for Emergency Vehicle Safety”. Aimed at reducing the impact of vehicle-related incidents on the fire service and the communities they protect. It provides information for developing policies required that support the safe operation of emergency vehicles, as well as privately-owned vehicles.
- “Improving Apparatus Response and Roadway Operations Safety in the Career Fire Service”. Includes topics such as seal belt use, intersection safety, roadway operations on crowded interstates, and driver training.
Studies and reports
- “Best Practices for Emergency Vehicle and Roadway Operations Safety”. Serves as a basic guide for all firefighters and law enforcement officers to improve their level of safety at work. It discusses training, policy development, education and technology to enhance emergency vehicle and roadway safety operations.
- “Developing Traffic Control Assistant Training Programs” (PDF, 1.7 Mb). Provides information and guidelines for the training and use of volunteers in fire or police department traffic control units to protect responders and the public at vehicle crashes, fires, or at special events in the community.
- “Safe Operation of Fire Tankers” (PDF, 2.1 Mb). Examines the various causal factors identified as problematic for tankers and their drivers. Tankers account for the largest number of firefighter crash deaths of all types of fire department vehicles.
- “Traffic Incident Management Systems” (PDF, 5 Mb). Describes the latest technologies, training, and operational practices for effective traffic incident management.
Vehicle and responder visibility
- “Effects of Warning Lamp Color and Intensity on Driver Vision” (PDF, 1.8 Mb | Flash Presentation). Colors and intensities of warning lamps that influence both positive and negative effects of such lamps in daytime and nighttime conditions are examined.
- “Effects of Warning Lamps on Pedestrian Visibility and Driver Behavior” (PDF, 1 Mb). A nighttime study of emergency warning lighting examining colors, intensity, and flash patterns of warning lamps. The resulting desirable (visible) and undesirable (glare) effects are shown.
- “Emergency Vehicle Visibility and Conspicuity Study” (PDF, 2.2 Mb.) Examines the use of retroreflective striping and chevrons, high-visibility paint, built-in passive light, and other reflectors for law enforcement patrol vehicles, fire apparatus, motorcycles, and ambulances and other EMS vehicles. Best practices in emergency vehicle conspicuity, including cutting edge international efforts, are reviewed.
- “Inferences about Emergency Vehicle Warning Lighting Systems from Crash Data” (PDF, 15 Kb). Examines motorist disorientation caused by emergency warning lighting and lighting effects on normal, impaired, and drowsy drivers (also known as the "moth effect").
- “Seeing and Stopping Distances” (PDF, 72 Kb). Demonstrates that detection distances for pedestrians and emergency responders operating on the roadway at night wearing typical clothing are very short, while detection distances when wearing retroreflective markings are very good.