6 Things You Should Do Should You Hit an Animal on the Road
Credit: U.S. Air Force
You have probably considered the potential of colliding with another motorist while on the road. If you’re like most people, you do your best to navigate the roads safely to avoid accidents. But, have you ever considered a situation where you collide with a dear?
Colliding with an animal is not as rare as you might think. For example, between 2016 and 2017 there have been an estimated 1.35 million accidents involving deer in the US. When you consider all other animals, the numbers are staggering.
Should you find yourself in such a sticky situation, a lot would be running through your mind including whether your comprehensive auto insurance covers the damage and what exactly you’re supposed to do now that you’ve hit the animal.
So, does insurance cover hitting a deer? What are you supposed to do if you hit one? Below are the 6 things you should do if you hit an animal on the road.
- Stop Your Car
When you hit an animal on the road, you are required to stop. Move your car to the side of the road making sure to put your hazard lights on. Observe safety first by staying away from the road for other motorists to pass.
It does not matter whether you think the accident was your fault or not, you are required to stop.
- Call the Police
Call 9-1-1 to alert the police. This way, they will be able to help clear the scene if the animal in question is blocking the flow of traffic. If the accident results in property damage or injury, you will be required to fill out a report. The report will come in handy when you’re filing a claim with your insurer.
- Document the Incident
If the scene of the accident is safe, you should take photos of the surroundings and any damage caused, taking note of landmarks in the vicinity. You should also capture any injuries to you or your passengers. If there are witnesses at the scene, take down their account of what happened and ask for their contact details.
- Approaching the Animal
It is best not to approach the animal. There is a chance it might hit, scratch or bite you now that it is frightened. However, if you’ve hit someone’s pet, you might want to check whether it has a tag with the owner’s details so that you can contact them.
- Get in Touch with Your Insurance Agent
You should report damage and injuries as soon as possible to allow your agent to file and process your claim with your insurance company. Send in all the evidence you have collected at the scene. The sooner you start this process the better it will be for you since the incident is still fresh in your mind. You run the risk of forgetting the finer details of the incident if you wait a few days.
Assess the damage to your car and call for a tow if necessary. Check for leaking fluid, broken lights, loose parts, tire damage or anything else that might make it unsafe to drive.
You can never be too safe on the road. For this reason, it is important to have the right kind of insurance coverage. Animal collision is normally covered under comprehensive insurance.