It’s unavoidable. At some point, you will probably hit an animal crossing the road. In the United States, an auto accident involving an animal happens every 39 minutes according to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Knowing what to do when you are confronted with this situation can be the difference in having an insurance claim on your car just your car versus having to pay an insurance claim on someone else’s house.
It’s much easier to try to avoid an accident than to need a car accident lawyer if the situation becomes exceptionally complicated. Consider these tips suggested by the Department of Motor Vehicles on how to correctly handle wildlife in the road when you’re driving.
Consider the Time of Day
Use extra caution when driving at dusk and dawn, animals are most active at these times including deer or opossums. These are times that they are most likely to cross roads and cross in front of cars. Keep an eye on the shoulders when you’re driving and maintain the speed limits so you can react appropriately.
Pay Attention to Signage
If there is a sign indicating an animal crossing, there is probably a reason for that. This typically means that there have been previous accidents in the area involving animals or there are common movement patterns for specific groups of animals. If you see a sign, always slow down and use caution.
To Swerve or Not to Swerve?
This tends to be the ultimate question when it comes to animals on the road. Many people have an instant reaction to swerve. This is not advised by the DMV, unless it’s for a moose and let’s face it, how many moose do you see crossing the road in Louisiana? By staying in your lane and hitting the animal straight on if they don’t clear the road, you are protecting yourself and other people; it’s much less damage to hit a deer than it is to hit another car because you swerved.
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