EVOC Part 2 of 5: Intersection Assessment

Part 2 of a 5 part series giving helpful insights into intersection negotiation for emergency responders. 

Identifying Hazards

In part 1 of our Emergency Vehicle Operations series we discussed how to correctly approach an intersection. A successful approach prepares an emergency vehicle driver for an accurate intersection assessment. Driver’s must have a defensive mindset when assessing an intersection. The following video shows how other vehicles in the intersection quickly become hazards and can cause serious damage. 

Source: Jason Thomas via youtube

Understanding how to anticipate dangers in an intersection can help to prevent scenes like this from being repeated. What exactly should a emergency vehicle driver be looking out for during there assessment? There are a number of different hazards to identify. The following video extracted from our training details what types of hazards a driver could face while negotiating an intersection.

Source: On Q Safety’s Police EVOC Online Course Lesson 1

It is a helpful practice to categorize the hazards described into the following categories:

Immediate Hazards

An immediate hazard is something that is currently putting the safety of a driver at risk. An example would be a car entering the lane of the driver, like is shown towards the end of the training video. These type of hazards require a driver to make an evasive action. It may be necessary to slow the vehicles speed, change lanes, or even come to a complete stop to avoid the immediate hazard. 

Potential Hazards

These type of hazards require less attention than immediate hazards, but are still important to identify. Potential hazards can easily become and immediate hazard within a matter of seconds.  A pedestrian in the distance can become an immediate hazard as they try to cross the intersection in front of an emergency vehicle. Identifying potential hazards allows a driver to spot risks before it is too late.

After identifying the hazards present in an intersection, the next step is clearing the intersection. Look for part 3 of our 5 part series to cover this topic next week.