By Pendergast Law on January 11, 2012
An “I brake for animals” bumper sticker can be a cute way to express your love for our four-legged friends. But always braking or swerving to avoid hitting an animal can increase your risk of a serious accident, according to a recent article in The Washington Post.
If you don’t have time to check for traffic before you brake, try not to swerve, recommends the Washington State Highway Patrol. If you can swerve safely into another lane instead of hitting an animal, you should do so; but, if you can’t swerve safely or you don’t know if you can or not, it may be safer for you and for other drivers on the road to risk hitting the animal instead. This is especially true for smaller animals that aren’t taller than your car’s hood.
Larger animals pose a bigger risk of injury to you and damage to your car, but hitting the animal may still be safer than swerving into traffic and causing a serious car crash. It may also be safer than swerving off the road and hitting a tree or other obstacle, or swerving so sharply you cause a rollover accident.
Most injuries in accidents caused by animals occur when a driver’s attempts to avoid an animal cause a second crash. Most injuries from car-animal collisions are usually minor for humans, and many can be avoided altogether by wearing your seatbelt or your helmet if you are on a motorcycle.
It can feel sad to accidentally take an animal’s life. But a serious injury can permanently change the course of your life or someone else’s. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, the experienced Washington car accident attorneys at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. can help. Call us today at 888-539-9211 for a free and confidential case evaluation.