It has become more frequent for motorists to encounter animals on their journey as urban areas continue to push outward and displace animals from their natural habitats.
Driving outside urban areas urges motorists to be on high alert regarding their surroundings, with the possibility of encountering an animal. Crashing into an animal not only damages the vehicle but it can possibly endanger the animal’s life and the motorist’s as well.
Road collisions often kill and injure wildlife, livestock and pets resulting in substantial amounts in insurance claims.
According to Insurance Chat, many farmers express frustration at fences being damaged or destroyed along public roads. The animals tend to stray into roads which often leads to accidents.
The AA mentions that these incidents are usually under-reported, mostly not recorded as a collision with an animal. As outlandish as it may sound, even insects have been recorded to take their toll in causing accidents.
Although there is no method of keeping animals away, AA provides a few suggestions that could assist in protecting motorists:
Take special care near animal crossing warning signs or signs warning of the absence of fences.
Minimize your distractions. If your full attention is on the road, you'll be more likely to spot approaching animals with your peripheral vision.
Get in the habit of scanning the roadside as you drive.
If you see one animal, expect that there are others nearby.
Use your high beams whenever possible. They will give you more time to spot and react to animals in the road.
Always obey the speed limit and wear safety belts.
Slowing down gives you and the animal more time to react – Be especially cautious at night.
Be especially watchful in areas near woods and water.
If you see a large animal near the road and think you have time to avoid hitting it, reduce your speed, tap your brakes to warn other drivers and sound your horn.
If the animal is in your path, brake firmly but do not swerve to avoid it. Sound your horn in a series of short bursts to frighten it away. Provided you can slow down with control, steer around the animal but stay on the road if possible. Watch out for oncoming traffic.
Always consider if the land along the road could host large animals, and if you think it could, anticipate that they might run out into the road. It's much easier to anticipate animal encounters and be ready to react calmly than to deal with the costly expenses, injuries, and guilty conscience of a collision.