Ambulette services like the New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) Access-a-Ride offer people a way to get to and from medical care centers when in a nonemergency situation. While the concept of an ambulette seems to be beneficial, there are many stories from people who have used them that say otherwise. The truth is that ambulettes can be dangerous to ride in, often noticeably more dangerous than riding in an ambulance.
Reduced Training for Ambulette Drivers
In order to become an ambulance driver, applicants must pass a number of requirements first. Not only do ambulance drivers usually get weeks of formal training from their employers, but they also typically require a special Emergency Vehicle Operator Course (EVOC) certificate that proves their ability to handle the large vehicle in an emergency situation. With everything considered, you can usually trust the average ambulance driver to be skilled and professional.
On the other hand, ambulette drivers typically do not require or receive any sort of formal training once hired. Most employers only require their ambulette drivers to have a high school diploma or General Educational Development certification. No sort of specialized license is needed to be hired as an ambulette driver. Since ambulette drivers are usually much-less trained than ambulance drivers, they may inadvertently put their clients into dangerous situations due to a general lack of driving skill.
Ambulettes & Reckless Driving Dangers
As many people who have used the NYC MTA Access-a-Ride service have attested, ambulette drivers may drive recklessly, acting as if the vehicle was an ambulance. Even if there is no call for trying to weave through traffic and run through red lights, some ambulette drivers may still speed, make unlawful turns, and so forth. Such reckless driving behaviors unfairly put ambulette passengers at risk of an accident and serious injuries.
According to a New York Post article from 2018, about 10% of complaints filed against the NYC MTA Access-a-Ride are never investigated. Another 43% of the complaints take many months before being opened to review. The report does not paint a promising picture for people who rely on ambulette services in their day-to-day routines.
Should You Use an Alternative to Ambulettes?
You should always use your best judgment before using an ambulette service. If an incident occurs, try to get as much information regarding the incident, including names, description, location and photos of damage and license plates if possible. Consider alternate arrangement for transportation to your nonurgent medical appointments if you can, such as getting a ride from a family member, friend, or neighbor.
If you are ever in an ambulette accident, seek immediate medical care if you are injured, If possible, keep any record you have of the incident, including pictures from the scene of the crash and documents that show you paid for the service. Bring the information you have to an ambulette accident attorney in your area to discuss filing a personal injury claim.
Koenigsberg & Associates Law Offices in Brooklyn has a practice focus on ambulette accident and Access-a-Ride accident cases. Call (718) 690-3132 today to learn more about our services and your options after being hurt while riding in an ambulette or Access-a-Ride vehicle.