Transcript for How San Francisco is changing the design of its emergency vehicles to prevent crashes
watching the show. We'll switch gears and okay at a new way to make our roads safer. Nick watt checked out the fire engine of the future special lie designed to reduce crashes and, Nick, sometimes getting to a fire can be as dangerous as fighting one. Reporter: You know, in 2016 the second leading cause of death for firefighters was, in fact, road traffic accidents and some fire departments are now suggesting some big and costly changes to those old iconic red fire engines themselves. Crash after crash, firefighters rushing to the scene to save lives but too often lives are lost on the road before they even get to a blaze. In 2016 alone there were an estimated 15,000 collisions involving fire department emergency vehicles. Now, psas like this in Minnesota. You would think one of our biggest fears is running into a building that's on fire when in reality it's being struck by a distracted driver. Reporter: And crashes like this in philly, a truck cut off by a civilian driver slams into parked cars. In San Francisco, a city famed for those steep and narrow streets it's fire department has a simple inclusion, smaller smarter fire engines. Oh, wow. This engine is shorter, narrower. We really used a lot of newer technology that is available today to make it more maneuverable. Reporter: To see the difference in the older and newer engines we're putting them through two everyday challenges. First up the dreaded u-turn. I don't think it'll do it. Reporter: The older engine. You guys have to back up. Reporter: Requires the crew to back up and help out the engine. The new one -- Well, that's a big difference. Yeah. A lot faster. Reporter: Turns the corner without a problem. This is safer but also faster in getting to a fire. That's correct. Reporter: The siren is also directional so other drivers really know where the engine is coming from. A bird's-eye view from new 360 cameras which brings us to our second demo, the invisible cyclist. A bike pulled up next to it and can in a blind spot. Can you see that bike? Nope. Reporter: New engyp, there he is. Safe and sound. I can see him in my 360. There's no blind spot. Reporter: The fire engine of the future. We'd like to think so. Reporter: Researchers are now working with departments across the country. We were asked by a number of fire departments to help them sort of reduce the number of crashes they have. Reporter: This doctor says there are ways drivers can help firefighters do their job safely. They need to slow down and pull over to the right. Reporter: And not pull in front of the fire trucks like this car in Indiana. Precautions that will hopefully reduce the thousands of crashes each year. Now, according to those researchers we spoke to, the departments in Seattle and San Francisco and Sacramento, I'm sorry, have reduced crashes dramatically by training their drivers more and there is a lot that you can do as well. As we just heard, when you hear the siren, slow down and just pull over to the right. It really is that simple. You cannot play wit. Anything, thanks very much.
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