BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Officials said they are experiencing several issues with drivers making it unsafe when responding to an emergency. Friday, News 13 rode with EMS and Florida Highway Patrol to see firsthand what’s happening on the roads. There appeared to be a lot of drivers who know what to do and a lot who don’t.

Bay County Emergency officials said drivers are causing a delay in emergency response time. Officials said loud music and cars being a little more airtight than they used to may be some factors that play into that.

“We notice we have a lack of response to our emergency lights and sirens,” Florida Highway Patrol Lieutenant Jason King said. “Now we understand that cars are a whole lot nicer these days or soundproof, quiet, and comfortable. And we’re also full of distractions inside those cars. And we think that both play a part and to not hearing us or seeing us come up behind the vehicle in an emergency or even through intersections.”

There are also other factors like abrupt stops.

“So typically what happens is when people notice us and they feel like we’ve been behind them for a long time, they’ll just overreact,” Bay County Fire Services Captain Gabe Moschella said. “They’ll just switch lanes real quick or slam on their breaks. And when that happens, it’s typically at a red light.”

Officials said the response time of drivers to emergencies is important. If an emergency vehicle’s lights and sirens are on, it’s a true emergency. They urge drivers to remain calm and safely pull to the right side of the roadway.

“All we really ask for people do is pay attention,” Capt. Moschella said. “When you do see an emergency responder coming behind, you just take your time, turn your blinker on to designate which line you’re going to pull over for us and make sure it’s safe for you. We’re not demanding a ride away. We’re just requesting the ride away.”

Drivers should also regularly check their rearview mirrors and surroundings every 10 seconds and use turn signals. EMS teams don’t know where you are going unless you do.

“You got to kind of drive defensively, plan ahead, play the what-if game,” Lt. King said. “Ask yourself, what if a patrol car comes up behind me? What if a patrol car cut in front of me? What if a ball bounced out in the road and a child ran behind it? Always be prepared for the what-ifs and how you would react instead of just driving aimlessly down the road.”

Officials would also like to remind drivers that failing to yield to emergency vehicles can get them a traffic ticket.