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To serve their purpose, sirens atop emergency vehicles must be loud enough to mask road noise, the buzz from car stereos, and a host of other sounds. Their blaring cries often cause momentary discomfort, if not lasting auditory impairment. However, recent figures from an Australian insurer could mean that hearing loss should be the least of driver concerns.

According to NRMA Insurance, drivers are confused by approaching fire engines, ambulances, and police vehicles on a fairly regular basis. In fact, sirens can leave drivers so befuddled that they cause accidents.

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