How to Deal with Animals in the Road

Stay Calm if There are Animals on the Road

In some areas of the country, animals moseying across the roadway might not be a surprise. In most parts of San Diego, however, something as small as a rabbit hopping in front of the car is enough to startle most drivers. Here are a few tips from America Tri-Star, a reliable provider of auto insurance in San Diego, for handling animals who decide to cross the road.

Stay Alert

When driving in an area where animals are known to frequent, be vigilant, constantly scanning the road to watch for animals, especially where wildlife signs have been posted. Wildlife tends to be more active during dusk, night and dawn, so extra care should be taken during these hours.

Slow Down

Headlights can only reach a distance of 200 to 250 feet ahead of the vehicle. Slowing down will allow for sufficient time to brake while driving at night. If the roads are icy, drivers should drive no faster than 30 miles per hour to allow time to slow down safely.

Wait for Animals that Travel in Groups

Many animals tend to travel in groups, such as antelope, deer and elk. If one of these animals cross the road, it is likely that more will follow. Slow down, or stop completely, to ensure that all animals have passed and the road is clear before proceeding.

Try to Brake

If there is enough distance between the animal and the vehicle, slowing down and stopping is the best option to avoid hitting an animal that is in the road. Tap the horn to warn other drivers, gently apply the brake and loudly sound the horn to scare the animal.

Don’t Swerve

Experts agree that swerving to avoid an animal is dangerous. There are far greater consequences of hitting another vehicle head-on than hitting an animal. If hitting the animal is the only option, sound the horn, reduce speed, apply the brakes and duck behind the steering wheel, if time allows.

The only time that it may be better to swerve rather than hitting an animal is if the animal is a moose. Moose can weigh up to 1,600 pounds, potentially causing a fatal accident for those traveling in the front of the vehicle. If there is no time to slow down to avoid hitting a moose, carefully swerving may be the safer option.

For more information about vehicle safety and auto insurance, like what your cheap San Diego car insurance policy covers if you happen to hit an animal and damage your car, contact America Tri-Star at (619) 272-2100 and speak with one of our friendly insurance agents today.