This year, between October 28 and November 3, motorists and road safety activists across the country will aim to “Give Wildlife a Brake” to raise awareness about the dangers of auto collisions with wild animals. While roadways may be designed for safe travel in cars, it’s important to recognize that many pass through natural areas where animals—such as deer—are known to migrate. To protect yourself, your passengers, wildlife, and your car, here are a few important details you should know when getting behind-the-wheel.
What Are the Risks of Vehicle-Animal Collisions?
Impact with an animal can cause extreme damage to your vehicle that can require expensive auto repairs. According to the Department of Transportation, repairing this damage can cost an average of about $1800.
But these accidents don’t just cause damage to property—they can lead to a loss of life. In most cases, auto collisions will lead to the impacted animal’s death. While nearly 1.5 million deer-vehicle collisions are recorded each year, it is suggested that many more may go unreported. In terms of human impact, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety suggests that more than 150 human fatalities result from these accidents each year.
How Can Drivers Reduce Their Risk of Hitting Wildlife?
It is important to remain focused on the road and minimize all possible distractions—such as cell phone use. This precaution is particularly important in areas with posted animal crossing signs. If you spot these signs, reduce your speed and make sure you have clear visibility. Department of Transportation also encourages motorists to use caution when driving during high-migration hours, usually in the early morning or late evening when traffic has slowed.
If you spot wildlife on the road, slow to a stop and allow them to cross. Either pull off to the shoulder or turn your hazards on to warn oncoming vehicles. If you’re involved in an auto collision, call the authorities to report the accident so proper steps can be taken to clear the roads to create safe driving conditions.
If an auto collision with wildlife does cause damage to your vehicle, Mike Smith's Automotive Collision Center has the resources to get you back on the road safely. Staffed by I-Car® certified technicians, this Dothan, AL auto body shop expertly provides a variety of collision repair services, including auto dent removal, bumper replacement, frame straightening, and custom painting. As a 24-hour body shop, this team is dedicated to assessing damage, processing claims, and providing repairs in a streamlined fashion to minimize the time you have to wait to get behind-the-wheel. For more information on these services, visit this shop online. To schedule repairs, call a friendly technician at (334) 792-0446.