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Thread: Why are words written backwards on ambulances?

  1. #1
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Why are words written backwards on ambulances?

    Hmm, I never really bothered to ask this, but someone recently mentioned it to me, and I decided I couldnt wait any longer. The word isnt written in reverse order, the letters themselves are actually reversed as if you are looking at the word "ambulance" reflected by a mirror. Is this so that people can read it on their rearview and sideview mirrors or something?

  2. #2
    *Retired* The_LED_Museum's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are words written backwards on ambulances?

    Yes, it's so that other drivers can read the word in their rearview mirror, and pull over if necessary.

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    *Flashaholic* PhotonWrangler's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are words written backwards on ambulances?

    Exactly correct.

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    Flashaholic* powernoodle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are words written backwards on ambulances?

    Thats true. But if they are too stupid to get out of the way of a emergency vehicle thats right behind them with flashing lights and a siren blaring, they are probably illiterate too.

    Lloyd: "Hey Melba - there is an emergency vehicle right behind us with its siren blaring and its red lights flashing. Whatta I do?"

    Melba: "What am I - Einstein? Maybe its an ice cream truck rushing to some starvin' kids! I don't hear no music, though."

    Lloyd: "Oh, wait! It says 'Ambuhlance' on the front of it. I guess I better get out of its way! Thank goodness they put that word on there, cause otherwise I would of had no idea what to do!"


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    Flashaholic* nethiker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are words written backwards on ambulances?

    It's amazing how many more people actually yield the right of way to an ambulance over a fire truck. I would say where I live 95% yield the right of way to the ambulance and 75% to the fire truck.

    Could it be the word ambulance? Or perhaps as some around here say, "we don't need the fire dept., that's what we got insurance for." Guess we mess up some people's income.

    Greg

  6. #6
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Why are words written backwards on ambulances?

    That is so TRUE. About 90% of the time the drivers stop right in the middle of the road or pull over to the LEFT making it worse. Most of the new rig makers don't even bother with the "sdrawkcab" signage.

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    Default Re: Why are words written backwards on ambulances?

    i still dont know what to do, just try and make a PATH, the law says pull over to the right, but sometimes ya just need to clear a hole for them, cause they aint nessisarily going to the left, and i dont nessisarily have anywhere to go at all, being IN the left (turn lane), with thier path wherever people made it for them. sometimes ya just gotta yeild SOMEWHERE, so they can pour down the center of the funnel.

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    Default Re: Why are words written backwards on ambulances?

    The strange thing for me is, my brain knows it's looking
    in a mirror so I can read non-reversed words better
    than reversed ones. (I know this based on businesses
    that put their names on the hood, some forward and
    some reversed. I do pull to the side for emergency
    vehicles.)

    Anyone else notice the same thing?

    Greg

  9. #9
    Flashaholic BF Hammer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are words written backwards on ambulances?

    What drives me insane about pulling over for emergency vehicles is the sudden drag race you find yourself in as the cars that pulled over behind you attempt to pass as many of the pulled over cars as they can after the emergency vehicle has passed.

    Another pet peeve - the law around here demands you stay back a minimum of 200 feet behind any emergency truck. It's physically impossible to drive and stay behind any vehicle by over 200 feet on a city street with a speed limit under 55mph.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Why are words written backwards on ambulances?

    Sometimes people may have their stereos blasting out their favourite tunes so you wont hear them. AMBULANCE seen in the rear view mirror creates that awareness. If its a plain white van tailgating, some might not be so nice as to pull over immediately. "Hey, im doing 55. If you want to get ahead of me, go around me..."

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    Flashaholic* zespectre's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why are words written backwards on ambulances?

    Gotta jump in here. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    The practice of writing Ambulance backwards is, of course, done for a reason and that is so it can be read easily in a mirror.

    This leads some to wonder why since there are all the flashing lights, sirens, etc. Well there are many cases where an ambulance doesn't want to (or can't) use those sirens and lights such as within a certain distance of the hospital (the quiet zone) or if someone has requested a "quiet" pickup.

    Also, historically, an ambulance was just a big van or sedan not the specifically designed vehicles we see today and so were harder to distinguish from other traffic when just seen from the front: old ambulance .

    It wasn't until the 1960's that the "tons-o-flashing-lights" style we see now became common 1960's and it was then simple to ID an ambulance from just a front view.

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    Default Re: Why are words written backwards on ambulances?

    Have you ever been driving down the interstate and have an Ambulance with lights and siren on going under the speed limit? This happened to me once and finally I hate to say it but after about ten minutes I passed the guy. There was very little traffic and I have no idea what he was doing. Are their rules that they go by as to when they use the lights? If this guy was going to an emergency I feel sorry for whoever was hurt.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Why are words written backwards on ambulances?

    When I attended vcu, it was common knowledge that the squad uses west main st as a practice route for new drivers to drive with sirens and lights going. Going on to N harrison is always backedup, so knowing that calmed the nrves of many.

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