5 Reasons to Call 911 Instead of Driving to the ER

Calling 911 for an ambulance is the fastest way to get life-saving treatment to a patient. Heart attacks and strokes are common medical emergencies where time is of the essence. The more time that passes, the greater the risk of damage, and the harder it becomes to reverse symptoms.


  1. EMS Can Start Giving Medical Care Right Away.

Your car probably doesn’t have the equipment to monitor or manage heart attack symptoms on the way to the hospital like an ambulance does, says the NHLBI. The EMS providers can start giving medication right away, monitor vital signs, and give other treatments all before arriving at the emergency room.

  1. Ambulances Can Get to the Closest Emergency Room Faster.

If you drive, you’ll have to obey the speed limit and stop at red lights, halt for pedestrians, and find a place to park once you arrive at the emergency room. Construction or traffic could hold you up or you may need to get gas.

If you call 911, an ambulance with lights and sirens can fly through traffic jams, red lights, and speed limit restrictions without getting pulled over.

  1. You Can Focus on Your Loved One.

If your loved one is panicked about their symptoms, she’ll be relying on you to keep her calm. You might not be able to do that as well if you’re driving. You’ll need to focus on the road. Also, if she’s having nausea or lightheadedness, you might have trouble getting her into your vehicle.

  1. Calling 911 Can Mean Quicker Care.

If your loved one arrives at the emergency room by ambulance, they won’t have to check in and wait to be seen. The paramedics will also inform the ER of your condition before you arrive. Coryell Health Emergency Medical Service (EMS) coordinates care while in route to the ER, so they are prepared before the patient arrives.