Unfortunately, accidents where animals are involved aren’t uncommon. Officially, 20-30 thousands police-recorded car collision with animals are observed every year. However, that number is underestimated, as many of the drivers don’t report such accidents. It may be up to four times higher, according to estimations. What should you do in such a situation?
The causes of car collision with an animal
Wild animals migrating in search of food are common, especially in the fall and early winter. Collisions involving animals are one of the effects of rapid urbanisation, which forces many of them to migrate. This is related to the development of the road network and the increasingly common motorization of society.
We as drivers have an obligation to help the animal they hit, if it’s possible. Unfortunately, in many cases a hit animal is beyond help. In such situations, we must inform the relevant services, e.g. the police.
Car collision and ticket for careless driving
Theoretically, the police may write the driver a ticket for not complying to the appropriate road sign, which is a warning about the possibility of wild animals appearing on the road. Each road user is obliged to exercise particular caution on the road. We do not decide for ourselves whether the conditions have been met. The decision is still influenced by the police, although they were not present at the time of the incident. Sometimes the driver does get a ticket, which may explain why some people fail to report such accidents. However, leaving the dead animal on the road may be dangerous to other drivers.
How to behave in the event of a collision with animal?
You should definitely slow down in places marked with the “animals crossing” signed. That way, you can reduce the risk of an accident. If it does happen anyway, pull over to the side of the road, turn on the warning lights, set up a warning triangle behind the vehicle and call the police. A police report is key if you want to claim compensation for the incident.
And what about the animal? Unfortunately, in most cases there is little we can do to help him. If his circulation has stopped, we can resuscitate him, but in practice it is rather possible in the case of pets – a dog or a cat. A wild animal, in shock caused by the collision, can even attack you. What’s more, sometimes non-professional help can do more harm than good.
If a car collision with an animal occurs, remember these four most important steps:
- pull over to the side of the road
- turn on the warning lights
- set up a warning triangle behind the vehicle
- call the police