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Should you swerve if a deer darts in front of your car?

On Behalf of | Mar 6, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Glimpses of wildlife can add an element of magic to a daily commute. Yet, if the animals are too close to the road, this could inspire potentially catastrophic crashes. Each year many people are injured in crashes involving wildlife. Many more crashes are caused by motorists who are trying to avoid wildlife.

It’s natural to want to swerve if an animal steps into your path. You don’t want the guilt of hitting them, and you don’t want the damage to your car and possible injury that a strike could cause. That still doesn’t mean that you should swerve in response to an animal’s presence, though.

Swerving is a split-second decision

While you might make plenty of split-second decisions to swerve around things while playing a car racing game, real life is less forgiving of errors. Quick decisions have a high chance of being the wrong ones because you don’t have time to think about them. If you did, you could carefully consider what the consequences of a swerve might be – for example, straying into the path of an oncoming vehicle or losing control and hitting a tree head-on.

Slowing down is the best way to give yourself more time to consider your options

A buck or doe steps out into the road one hundred feet ahead. The faster you are traveling, the sooner you will be upon it. Reducing your speed by just 10 miles per hour in stretches where wildlife encounters are likely could make all the difference.

Watch out for other drivers too

You can guarantee that not everyone will drop their speed, meaning you are always at risk of another driver losing control and hitting you as they try to swerve around an animal. If they injure you, you’ll need legal help to explore your compensation options.