Avoiding Animal-Vehicle Collisions

Stay Calm if There are Animals on the Road

Animal-vehicle collisions can be as deadly to people as they are to animals. According to the Automobile Association of America, this type of accident caused more than 2,000 fatalities between 2001 and 2011. Even if hitting an animal does not result in injury or death, it may still damage your vehicle. To help you avoid hitting an animal on the road, the Vista car insurance experts at American Tri-Star have a few suggestions.

Many dogs and cats are hit at night because they are harder for drivers to see. It’s also likely these animals aren’t able to discern the difference between headlights and the car itself. Once the lights have passed, a cat or dog may think it’s safe to dart into the road, not realizing there could be another car coming from the opposite direction. Be on the lookout during any time of day, and if you spot a cat or dog beside the road, be prepared to slow down or stop if no cars are behind you. Don’t honk your horn or swerve.

Low-flying birds need air currents to climb to higher altitudes, and a speeding car can affect those currents, preventing a bird from being able to get out of your way. Lift your foot off the gas and slow down gradually if you see a bird flying toward your car. If you brake too fast, the bird might not get the extra lift it needs and could crash into your windshield.

Though deer are not common in the San Diego area, you still may encounter some when driving in the rural areas of the county. If you see one deer walking in the road, assume others are nearby. To avoid colliding with a deer, stay in your lane and brake in a controlled manner. A panicked stop could spook the animal, causing it to run into the path of another car.

There are a variety of other animals you can potentially encounter on the road, including skunks, possums, coyotes, rabbits, and more. Many of the suggestions above can be applied to encounters with these other creatures, and these additional pointers may help as well.

  • Be extra cautious at dawn and dusk when many animals are on the move
  • Also be wary when driving in rural areas during deer hunting and mating seasons
  • Use your high beams if there is no oncoming traffic because they will give you more time to spot and react to animals in the road
  • Scan the shoulders, roadside grass, and shrubs ahead of you to give you time to react if an animal enters the road

Even with the right preparation, animals can be unpredictable and you may have the misfortune of hitting one with your vehicle. Having the right insurance in place can help you manage the resulting damages. If you’re looking for Vista auto insurance quotes, get in touch with American Tri-Star to find the most affordable solution. Call 760-758-1600 and one of our knowledgeable agents would be happy to assist you.