Every year, millions of drivers in the United States get into accidents involving animals. Unfortunately, humans are increasingly populating most areas, and animal vs. car accidents have become very common.
From mice to squirrels and deer, knowing how to react in the face of such accidents determines your likelihood of getting into a wreck. Here are a few simple tips to avoid animal car accidents.
1. Stay Alert
Distracted driving is a major cause of animal-car accidents. Taking your eyes off the road, even for a few seconds, increases your likelihood of hitting an animal. Where there is an animal, there are probably a few more.
Younger animals follow their mothers, and the males are consistently chasing the females. The Animal Protection Institute reports that about 70 percent of deer-car accidents would have been prevented if the driver slowed down and remained alert.
2. Understand that Animals are Unpredictable
Animals can be unpredictable, and unless you understand this, you may get into an accident. If you see an animal ahead, slow down.
Do not sound the horn as scaring it could make things worse. It may dart in front of you hence causing an accident. Other times, your headlights may scare the animal into freezing. Your best option is to take things slow and let the animal move at its own pace.
When passing designated animal crossing areas, slow down even when there aren’t any animals in sight. Be especially careful when passing areas close to streams, fields, and woods.
3. Beware of Your Surroundings
Stay alert and perform regular mirror checks to remain aware of your surroundings. When you are behind the wheel, it is essential to know what is happening in your environment. That way, you can easily spot the signs of having animals close by. It also reduces their likelihood of ‘coming out of nowhere.
4. Don’t Assume They Can See You
When you are approaching an animal, never assume that it will see you and cross the road. Always slow down or stop until they pass. However, you should avoid getting out of the car for your own safety. If there is an animal around, it is wise to expect that a few more are around. Don’t get too close, and don’t make any assumptions.
5. Avoid Sharp Turns
When you unexpectedly run into an animal, your first instinct may be to swerve and avoid them. While this may sound like a sure way to prevent an accident, it isn’t. Last-minute sharp turns can make your car lose control. They are likely to cause a collision.
6. Seasonal issues
During peak season, your chances of getting into an accident are high. Be particularly careful to remain safe. During autumn, many animals are on the move, and it is mating season for moose. Look out for deer in early winter and fall. Knowing the animals to look out for will keep you safe. If you get into an animal-car accident in Salem, your Salem personal injury lawyer should help you. They will advise you on the best steps to take right after your accident.