Most injuries that occur when an automobile is on a collision path with an animal on the road happen not when the car hits the animal, but when the car crashes following the near-collision or impact with the animal. Therefore, how a driver reacts when he is faced with a stray animal on the road is extremely important in determining the probably of a Georgia car accident.
The Washington Post spoke to a number of highway safety troopers around the country and came up with the following conclusions. When it comes to avoiding animal-related collisions, swerving may be much more dangerous than hitting an animal. Many troopers urge motorists to avoid sudden evasive maneuvers if you’re not able to check for traffic beforehand. If you can make a safe lane change, do so. However, avoid swerving if you are unable to check your mirror and check for traffic.
If the animal is shorter than the hood of your car, and you have no time to change your lanes, then it is probably advisable to hit the animal. If the animal is taller than the hood of the car, then it is advisable to avoid the animal if possible. Unfortunately, very often when drivers are faced with a situation like this, they panic and make the wrong decision, which can lead to a single or multiple car accident.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, there were about 173 fatal accidents involving animals in 2009, which is the last year for which statistics are available. There were also about 12,000 car accidents resulting in injuries involving animals that same year. According to the insurance industry for Highway safety however, 1.5 million accidents involving deer occur around the country every year. These result in $1 billion in damages.
Much of the accident data reported by transportation safety agencies involves larger animals, and does not include accidents involving dogs, cats and small animals. That’s because motorists are not required to report these accidents to police or insurance companies. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has conducted studies that found that about 77% of animal-related accidents involved deer. Cattle were involved in about 10% of accidents, while horses were involved in about 6% of the accidents. Dogs were involved in about 6% of the accidents.
The Atlanta car accident lawyers at the Katz Law Firm represent persons injured in auto accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across Georgia.