Bright Lights, Dim Drivers

Essay by badballCollege, UndergraduateA+, August 2005

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Working as a paramedic, I am trained to save lives. Unfortunately, to do this

sometimes I have to risk my own by sharing the road with some of the homicidal maniacs

we all share the road with each day. Every time I respond to a call with the ambulance

lights and sirens activated, I feel as if I am playing Russian Roulette and tempting the

God of motor vehicle accidents to catch up with me. He has three weapons in his


First there is what I like to call the Braker. The Braker is a motorist who at first

may seem just like you or me. You may even be sitting next to a Braker right now. But

somehow he sheds his mild-mannered exterior and becomes a pedal punching demon

when behind the wheel of his car. Perhaps it is caused by the hypnotic pattern of the

siren's wail or the psychedelic flicker of the lights, but the Braker becomes a creature of

deceleration that throws out conventional physics and jams his brakes on at the first sign

of an ambulance.

Instead of yielding to the right and allowing an ambulance to pass

(which is the law) he suddenly, and without warning stands on the brakes leaving a

smoking trail of skid marks in his wake like a giant Etch-a-Sketch. This causes all those

behind him to test their reflexes (as well as their brakes) to prevent their vehicles from

having some perverted form of metallic intercourse on the highway.

Next is the Ambulance Chaser. No, I am not referring to lawyers; this name applies

literally. Some people, for reasons unknown to me, revel in the sight of an ambulance

and make it their mission to follow as closely as possible. They follow us through red

lights and...