What to Do if You Run Over an Animal

· January 8, 2019

If you drive a vehicle on a regular basis, you run the chance of running over an animal. That’s why it’s important to know the precautions you should take to avoid this type of accident, and how to act if it happens. In any case, the important thing is to take both your life and that of the animal into consideration.

Running over animals, an increasing problem

Statistics show that these types of accidents are increasing every year. In Spain, wild boar and dogs are the most common animals involved in these type of accidents.

That’s why it’s important to drive with great caution and reduce your speed in forested areas. Also, look out for signs that indicate animal crossings whether wild or domestic.

There are also some regions that are more prone to this issue:

Dark colored animals have a higher risk of getting ran over

  • Galicia
  • Castilla y Leon
  • Aragon
  • Catalonia

If you happen to run over an animal with your car, it’s important that you stay calm. Make sure you handle the situation responsibly. Stop to help the animal, you may be able to save their life. 

What to do if you run over an animal

If you run over an animal, don’t just keep driving. They may have just been injured, so it’s worth trying to help them quickly. You may be able to save their life. Also, keep in mind that if it’s left in the road, it may cause other accidents, especially with larger animals.

Of course, there are many people who won’t even stop the car when they’ve hit another living creature. There are also many who are more concerned about the damage done to their car. But remember, it’s everyone’s duty to protect and respect life in all of its forms. 

So, act responsibly and try not to lose your cool. Postpone any possible legal and insurance issues until you’re finished taking care of the anima. You can do this by doing the following:

  • Stop the vehicle.
  • Correctly place traffic signal in the accident site (triangles, emergency lights, reflective vest, etc.).
  • Notify the authorities immediately so they can come to help the animal or remove the body from the road.

Precautions you can take to avoid running over an animal

To reduce your chances of running over an animal, keep the following recommendations in mind:

  • Slow down in wooded areas, areas with low visibility or when you see road signs that indicate wild animals in the area.
  • Beep the horn to alert the animal
  • If it’s night time and you cross paths with a wild animal, it’s best to put your lights on low. Since high beams are stronger, they tend to disorient the animal and cause an unwanted reaction.
  • Drive very slowly because the animal may cross the road suddenly if it’s scared. He’s not in the right mindset to calculate the speed of your car correctly.
  • Continue at a slow pace because some animals might travel in groups. It’s likely that you’ll come across another one.
  • If the animal is large (cow, horse, deer, etc.) and there’s no way to remove it from the road, tell the authorities.

Protect your life first

Dog that was in an accident

If there is no way to control the situation, or the animal suddenly appears in your way, experts say it’s best to have a controlled shock than an uncontrolled escape.

A risky maneuver trying to escape the collision could result in more serious consequences. This could endanger the life of the driver, passengers, and the lives of drivers coming in the opposite direction. This may cause a collision with another car or the car may end up hitting a tree or flip into a ditch.

Remember that the important thing in these cases is not material goods, but your life and those of everyone around you. The life of the animal that innocently crossed your path is obliviously important as well.