Drivers have plenty to worry about throughout the country. Between growing populations, rising traffic rates, and the usual road dangers, it’s easy to forget that accidents involving animals happen quite often throughout the country. Statistics show that between the summer of 2017 and summer of 2018, there were 1.33 million collisions with wildlife, with one out of every 167 vehicle operators claiming a hit from a deer. Fatalities from crashes with deer reached 189 in 2016. These accidents cause over a billion dollars in damage to vehicles.
Avoiding Collisions with Animals on the Road
Here are a few tips to keep in mind while you’re driving:
Be aware and alert – Distracted driving is one of the top causes of accidents because it takes so much more time to react to something in the road. Staying alert means you can see an animal trying to cross and stop to avoid a crash.
Always use high beams at night – Keep your lights on so that you can see. Nighttime is when a lot of animals come out of the wildlife and start crossing roads in search of food. It’s hard to see, but at least with high beams, you can catch a deer or raccoon in action.
Don’t swerve into another lane – It’s natural to swerve to avoid something in your path suddenly, but when you’re driving down a road with other cars, you can do even more damage. You might hit another car, cause a pileup, or lose control and hit a tree. No one wants to kill an animal, but you’re doing less damage by staying where you are.
Never touch the animal after an accident – There are hundreds of cases where a driver thought the animal died after slamming into the car when suddenly they spring to life and run away. Not only can some mammals carry diseases infectious to humans, but they are also apt to attack after an upset.
Stay safe and stay aware. It’s a good idea to have a plan in mind in case you do ever come across this type of situation. If you have a family that includes teenagers that drive or are about to get their license, it’s important to talk to them about what to do should they encounter an obstacle in the road.
What Happens After an Accident With Livestock?
In Louisiana, courts will presume that the livestock owner is negligent if a vehicle strikes one of their animals. To overturn that presumption, the owner has to give evidence that proves all precautions were taken to keep the animal adequately confined. Also, he or she will need to explain how the animal escaped from its confinement so that they aren’t held liable. It’s important to provide specific evidence after the crash.
Call an Experienced Attorney
The damages and injuries from such accidents can be of significant cost, and they call for an experienced lawyer that understands accident law and has the resources needed to retain expert witnesses. Attorneys with E. Orum Young have more than 35 years of experience helping clients with personal injury and accident cases. In the state of Louisiana, car accidents involving animals and livestock are common. We know just what to do in this situation. Call us at 318-450-6453 or schedule a case review today.