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Drivers: Do you know how to safely react to animals in the road?

On Behalf of | Nov 13, 2020 | Car Accidents |

In a previous blog post, we discussed the devastating injuries people can suffer when animals like dogs attack them. However, attacks are not the only threat animals pose. They can also create a very real hazard to motorists who encounter them on the road.

As a driver in Montana, you should know how to respond safely in these situations. Knowing what to do could make the difference between life and death for you and the other people sharing the road with you.

Why crashes happen

If you are driving on a highway or interstate, the way you react to a deer, antelope or another animal on the road can have catastrophic consequences. According to statistics, about 200 people die in collisions with animals in Montana every year; about 29,000 people suffer injuries in the crashes.

Many of these accidents occur when drivers slam on their brakes or attempt to swerve out of the way to avoid hitting the animal. These sudden moves can make it impossible for other motorists to react quickly enough to get out of the way. Thus, cars can collide and flip over. And at high speeds, these events can be deadly.

Tips for avoiding accidents with animals

With winter approaching, now is an excellent time to refresh your knowledge of what to do if you encounter an animal while driving. The following is a list of tips every driver should know to avoid serious car accidents.

  • Pay attention to animal crossing signs
  • Remain alert, especially at dawn and dusk.
  • Turn off cruise control in areas where there is a high risk of animal crossings.
  • Watch for multiple animals, as they do not often travel alone.
  • When possible, drive in the middle lanes to make it easier to move in either direction if you see an animal ahead.
  • Use your horn and headlights to scare away the animal.
  • Refrain from swerving or slamming on the brakes if there are other drivers around you.
  • Always wear your seatbelt.

These tips can help you respond safely in situations where animals enter the roadway while you are driving. 



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