Accidents involving cars and animals are an everyday occurrence. These typically involve animals such as squirrels and other small wildlife. While unfortunate for the animals, most collisions with small animals don’t involve car accidents. This is largely because drivers, correctly, don’t slam their brakes or violently swerve in such encounters.
As a general rule, the more traffic around you, the fewer your collision avoidance options. If the road is clear of traffic and your view ahead is unobstructed, then you can brake firmly (without skidding) or slow down and go around the animal.
However, when there’s traffic on the road, you mustn’t endanger yourself or other motorists by using dangerous maneuvers to avoid an animal. These maneuvers include slamming your brakes and potentially getting rear-ended, or swerving and colliding with oncoming traffic or going off the road. Instead, slow down without getting rear-ended, and stay in your lane until either you hit the animal or it gets out of your way.
When encountering deer, you should do as prescribed previously but then let up on the brakes just before hitting it. This causes the front of your car to come back up and reduces the chance of the deer crashing through your windshield. Unlike small animals, hitting deer can cause serious harm if it goes through your windshield. However, it’s best not to hit them in the first place by staying alert. Here are six tips:
- Slow down when you see deer crossing signs.
- Slow down when it’s dark, especially during dawn and dusk when deer are feeding.
- Slow down when you see a deer on the side of the road. Deer are herd animals, which means there are others nearby or just out of sight on the road ahead.
- Use high beams at night when there isn’t oncoming traffic.
- Look for reflective eyes in the dark.
- If you see a moving silhouette in the headlights of oncoming traffic, slow down and be prepared for deer in the road.
If you were injured in a car accident, get legal advice from the experienced lawyers at Hogan Injury. Contact us today.