Considerations: Crashes involving wildlife

On Behalf of | Feb 29, 2024 | Car Accidents

Drivers have a plethora of hazards to watch for when they’re on the roads. Wildlife isn’t usually one that people think about often, but wrecks involving deer and other wildlife can lead to significant property damage and injuries. For example, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that there are around 1.5 million deer-vehicle crashes annually in this country, which result in more than $1 billion in insurance losses per year.

While the information below pertains to deer specifically, it’s important to understand that wildlife of virtually any kind can inspire a crash if they near a roadway.

Increased movement

Deer are more active during mating season, especially at dawn and dusk, which are peak times for their movement. This increased activity raises the chances of deer entering roadways, catching drivers off guard. The risk is particularly high on rural and forest-lined roads, though urban areas are not exempt as deer populations expand.

Driver reaction

The sudden appearance of deer on the road can lead to dangerous reactions from drivers. Swerving to avoid hitting a deer can result in losing control of the vehicle, leading to collisions with other vehicles, trees, or road barriers. Maintaining control and braking steadily is recommended over swerving, which can cause more severe accidents.

Risks of collisions

The Tennessee Highway Patrol reports an uptick in deer-related collisions during mating season. These accidents can result in significant vehicle damage, personal injury or even fatalities. The physical impact of hitting a deer, particularly at high speeds, can compromise the safety of all vehicle occupants.

Claims after a crash

People who are involved in crashes involving animals will likely suffer property damage and personal injuries. How these concerns need to be addressed depends largely on the situation. For example, if a driver swerves to avoid hitting an animal and another vehicle is struck, the swerving driver is likely (technically) liable for the crash.

For those who’re involved in a single-vehicle crash involving an animal, the possibility of insurance covering the damages is only possible if a motorist has opted to invest in optional comprehensive coverage. People who have only liability or collision won’t be covered for their losses under these circumstances.

Ultimately, dealing with the aftermath of a crash involving an animal can be a nightmare. Determining where to turn for compensation can be complicated, so seeking legal assistance is a good idea.


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