Factors associated with civilian drivers involved in crashes with emergency vehicles

Christopher Drucker, Susan G Gerberich, Michael P. Manser, Bruce H Alexander, Timothy R Church, Andrew Ryan, Ensar Becic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Motor vehicle crashes involving civilian and emergency vehicles (EVs) have been a known problem that contributes to fatal and nonfatal injuries; however, characteristics associated with civilian drivers have not been examined adequately. This study used data from The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Fatality Analysis Reporting System and the National Automotive Sampling System General Estimates System to identify driver, roadway, environmental, and crash factors, and consequences for civilian drivers involved in fatal and nonfatal crashes with in-use and in-transport EVs. In general, drivers involved in emergency-civilian crashes (ECCs) were more often driving: straight through intersections (vs. same direction) of four-points or more (vs. not at intersection); where traffic signals were present (vs. no traffic control device); and at night (vs. midday). For nonfatal ECCs, drivers were more often driving: distracted (vs. not distracted); with vision obstructed by external objects (vs. no obstruction); on dark but lighted roads (vs. daylight); and in opposite directions (vs. same directions) of the EVs. Consequences included increased risk of injury (vs. no injury) and receiving traffic violations (vs. no violation). Fatal ECCs were associated with driving on urban roads (vs. rural), although these types of crashes were less likely to occur on dark roads (vs. daylight). The findings of this study suggest drivers may have difficulties in visually detecting EVs in different environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-123
Number of pages8
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
StatePublished - 2013


  • Civilian driver
  • Emergency vehicle
  • Motor vehicle crash
  • Risk factors


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