Driving Safely: Animal-Vehicle Collisions

Have you seen more wildlife on the road lately? The Federal Highway Administration states more than 300,000 wildlife-vehicle collisions occur each year between October and December!

Follow these tips to reduce your chances of getting in an animal-related accident.

  • Stay focused. Limit distractions and check your mirrors regularly so you are aware of what is happening around you.
  • Lower your speed. Driving slower will allow you more reaction time if an animal suddenly darts into the road.
  • Turn on your lights. Use your headlights and high beams at night to see animals easier. Look out for their shiny eyes.
  • Don’t swerve. If you do see an animal, slow down and, if necessary, come to a gradual stop. If you do need to stop your car, turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers.

But what happens if you are involved in an animal collision?

  • Pull your vehicle over to the side of the road and turn on your hazards. Stay off the road and away from oncoming traffic.
  • Stay in your vehicle and do not approach the animal. A frightened or injured animal could be dangerous! Instead, call the authorities, especially if the animal is in the way of traffic.
  • When safe to do so, inspect your vehicle. Look for tire damage, leaking fluids, loose parts, broken lights, or anything else that could make your car unsafe to drive. If your car has sustained this damage, call for a tow truck.
  • Contact your insurance agent to report any damage or injuries and to begin to process your claim.

Questions about your coverage or what to do in an accident? Contact IBA!

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