From the rise of distracted driving to Canada’s severe weather conditions, there are numerous hazards on the road that can lead to auto collisions and thousands of dollars in insurance claims. Yet, one driving hazard that is often overlooked by drivers are animals on the road. With the rise of large animal populations and an increase in auto traffic, animal-related collisions have become increasingly more common. Meeting an animal on the road can happen suddenly, so keep in mind these driving tips to keep both yourself and the animals that you encounter on the road, safe.
To avoid a sudden encounter with an animal, stay aware of your surroundings at all times. Be particularly mindful in areas that are considered as high-risk, such as rural locations or empty roads, particularly at night or during the early morning hours. If you notice a Wildlife Warning Sign, be cautious of the hazards ahead. Furthermore, if you find yourself driving on a highway in a rural area, be extremely vigilant and scan both sides of the road for wildlife.
Numerous drivers are tempted to increase their speed while on empty roads and highways. However, that can be very dangerous and can significantly reduce your reaction time. When driving in high-risk areas, be mindful of your speed to ensure you have enough time to brake. If you do spot an animal on the road, reduce your speed and turn on your hazard lights to notify the driver behind you. Furthermore, be aware that animals can easily become startled by moving vehicles.
A driver’s first instinct when encountering an animal on the road is to swerve, however, it can be dangerous to do so. Swerving can lead to a collision with another vehicle or cause you to lose control. Instead of swerving, slow down, and wait for the animal to react.
Brake Then Release
Most collisions occur when the driver does not take the correct precautions when driving in high-risk areas. If you find yourself in a situation where you are about to collide with an animal, brake immediately. If you cannot avoid a collision, release your brake before impact. This can help minimize damage to your vehicle.
If You Are Involved In A Collision
These tips can help you minimize the risk of a collision the next time you encounter an animal on the road. However, accidents can occur at any time, anywhere. If you have just encountered an animal-related collision, be sure to call 911 and prioritize your safety and the safety of others involved. If your vehicle is damaged, take some time to contact your insurance broker. We know how difficult the process can be for filing a claim, which is why our clients can report a claim on our mobile app. Join the numerous Canadians protected under our trusted insurance policies. Contact us today!