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Have been in that quagmire where you are listening to your too loud or talking on your cell phone all the while being oblivious to an emergency vehicle approaching with its sirens on. I will personally plead the fifth but I have seen accidents and near misses involving ambulances, fire trucks and other emergency services at Oklahoma City intersections. Luckily, EMSA seems to have purchased a solution that is having a pronounces statistical lessening of accidents involving their ambulances on Oklahoma City streets.

A details new “sirens” added to EMSA Ambulances that emit a low-frequency hum making unsuspecting motorists aware that an ambulance is in the area.

Ten-inch subwoofers called Howlers were installed in EMSA ambulances statewide beginning in November 2008, said spokeswoman Lara O’Leary. They emit a low-frequency hum that can cause vibrations up to 200 feet away, and EMSA officials credit the Howlers with cutting in half the number of crashes involving ambulances. “You can literally feel it, just like anyone that pulls up next to a car that has their stereo bumping extremely loud,”

The article goes on to provide data showing the effect the sirens are having on intersection car accidents involving ambulances

In the first 10 months of last year, EMSA ambulances were involved in 16 wrecks at Oklahoma intersections, O’Leary said. But only eight were reported from January to October in more than 4.3 million miles of driving. Crash figures for earlier years were not available.

As to its applicability, we encourage all drivers to avoid distractions such as cell phones and loud music. Ambulances responding to or from life threatening situations need to get their patients to a health care facility as soon as possible. Lets all be partners on the road and assist these paramedics who are trying to save a life.

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