Take the 2-minute tour ×
User Experience Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for user experience researchers and experts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Why is AMBULANCE sometimes mirror written on emergency vehicles ?

share|improve this question
Well, not exactly. The letters are mirrored so that people looking in the back mirror can read AMBULANCE. –  Candide Feb 18 '14 at 7:45
Downvoting this because we expect you do at least have done some research into your problem before asking it here, and you clearly haven't. The internet is littered with this same question, yet another post about it on the web is unnecessary. –  JonW Feb 18 '14 at 8:52
Also downvoting. Beginning to type the question in Google, it already suggests the appropriate query: imgur.com/0aSKEXl –  jgthms Feb 18 '14 at 8:55
@Brendon What could possibly be written on the outside of a space suite that's meant to be read by the astronaut occupying the suit? :) And if it's meant for your typical engilsh-reading alien (like "if found, return to NASA, Earth"), then it should be written properly. –  Vitaly Mijiritsky Feb 18 '14 at 14:23
@VitalyMijiritsky This photograph is an example: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/96/Heidemarie_Stefanyshyn-Piper‌​_in_white_space_suit.jpg. All of the labels and digits on the dials are written in reverse. The astronaut uses a mirror on their wrist to see read the labels. –  Brendon Feb 18 '14 at 15:29

1 Answer 1

up vote 22 down vote accepted

To make AMBULANCE easier read for vehicles in front of the ambulance. Ambulance are typically in greater speed than surrounding vehicles which make the ambulance front visible in other cars rear view mirror. At least those cars that need to get away to give room for the ambulance passing through traffic.

The most common modern usage of mirror writing can be found on the front of ambulances, where the word "AMBULANCE" is often written in very large mirrored text, so that drivers see the word the right way around in their rear-view mirror.

Reference: Mirror writing

Ambulance view in mirror of car

share|improve this answer
...and we have a candidate for the Reversal-badge ;-) –  Jørn E. Angeltveit Feb 18 '14 at 9:57
@JørnE.Angeltveit In more than one way. :-) –  Quincunx Feb 23 '14 at 19:18

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.