Report—Evasive Maneuvers While Driving Often More Dangerous Than Hitting Animals

A report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that 25,580 people died and many more were injured in 2012 auto accidents from January through September. Being prepared before an accident can enable a victim to obtain all the necessary information that will be helpful to their case.

Consulting a Clayton County attorney after an auto accident enhances a victim's ability to receive a reasonable settlement. If you have been injured in an automobile accident you should discuss your case with an accident attorney at Shane Smith Law.

According to the Washington Post, drivers who swerve to avoid hitting an animal may be more hazardous than those who hit the animal with their vehicle. Highway safety experts note that while a driver's instincts may be to avoid hitting an animal with a vehicle, this may be more hazardous than striking the animal if the driver does not check the surrounding traffic first. Frequently, a driver's evasive maneuvers cause other accidents and injuries.

Most injuries that occur when an automobile is involved in an animal-related accident occur when the car crashes following a near-collision or after the car strikes the animal. Troopers recommend using the animal's size as a decision-making gauge: if the animal is shorter than the car's hood and the driver does not have sufficient time to observe all nearby traffic then it is recommended that the driver not use evasive maneuvers. If the animal is taller than the car's hood then evasive maneuvers should be taken, if possible.

The NHTSA reports that there were 173 fatal accidents involving animals in 2009, the last year data is available. Additionally, there were approximately 12,000 car accidents resulting in injuries that involved animals. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that there are over 1 million accidents involving deer every year, causing $1 billion in damages. The NHTSA reports that over 75 percent of all animal-related accidents involve deer. Another 10 percent of accidents involved cattle, and horses and dogs were each involved in 6 percent of accidents.

If you or someone you know has been hurt in an auto accident, meet with a Clayton County auto accident lawyer at Shane Smith Law. We can obtain the relevant evidence including police reports.