What To Do When You Spot An Animal In The Road

It is something that will undoubtedly happen to everyone at some point when you are driving.

You are driving along minding your own business when you either spot an animal in the road ahead or one runs out in the path of your vehicle. What should you do?

  • Be aware – dawn and dusk are common times to spot animals on the road so be vigilant during these times. Also pay attention to road signs such as deer warnings.
  • Use your lights – When there are no other vehicles on the road ensure you use your full beam lights, these will often reflect the eyes of any animals ahead giving you an early warning that they are there. If you spot an animal in the road you should dip your lights straight away as if you don’t they may become to0 startled to move out of the road.
  • Brake – Be prepared to stop, try not to swerve out of the way as often the damage done to both vehicles and occupants is much worse when they avoid hitting the animal than if they had just braked and hit it. There are often trees, ditches and hedges where animals are found and these are potentially very hazardous if you hit them.
  • Mirrors – Check your mirrors before braking sharply to try and ensure that you do not risk road users behind you.
  • One or many – Remember you cannot be sure that there is only one animal, more may follow the one you see, be prepared.
  • Warning Lights – If you do hit an animal or damage your vehicle ensure you put your hazard lights on immediately to warn other motorists that you have stopped in the road.
  • Phone the police – if you hit a deer on the road, report it to the police, they will arrange for someone to come out and collect the animal as it could be a hazard to other vehicles.