AMBULANCES and fire tenders have been involved in 54 crashes in which two people died and 81 were injured over the past five years.
The stark figures were disclosed at the launch of the Road Safety Authority's (RSA) new campaign informing drivers how to react when faced with fast-approaching emergency vehicles on blue light duties.
Drivers are being told that when an emergency vehicle approaches and they see blue flashing lights or hear sirens, they should clear the way as soon as possible.
Other advice includes never mounting the kerb unless necessary and only if there are no pedestrians.
RSA chief executive Noel Brett said: "Many road users don't know what to do when they hear sirens, and sometimes they panic and take actions that impede the emergency services.
"This booklet will help road-users to understand how to behave on the roads if they are sharing the road with an emergency service vehicle."
Assistant Garda Commissioner Gerard Phillip said: "It is particularly important to anticipate the presence of emergency services vehicles on the roads, which means regularly checking your mirrors and correct observation of the roads so that you can respond in good time."
The booklet is available from the RSA or to download from rsa.ie.