What to do in case of an animal-vehicle crash?

These tips help you to avoid animal-vehicle crashes and tell you what to do in case of a collision with a stag or a deer.

If a warning sign indicates the crossing of wild animals be sure to reduce your speed. Photo: Matthias Rathmann

At dawn, a lot of animals search for food – at the same time rush hour traffic starts. For drivers, this increases the risk of accident. In 2013 alone, almost 250.000 animal-vehicle crashes have been registered. Please drive extremely carefully and reduce speed on streets, where warning signs for deer crossing are placed. If an animal shows up at the side of the road, you should perform a controlled deceleration and try to scare away the animal by flashing with dimmed headlights and honking.

If the braking distance is too short or the animal suddenly appears in front of your car, you should accept a collision. An abrupt evasion could lead your car into the oncoming traffic or to leave the road with the risk of severe injuries.

After a collision, you need to secure the accident site. Switch on the hazard warning lights and place the warning triangle at a sufficient distance behind the vehicle. It is also advisable to inform call the Police who also inform the tenant of the hunt in the area. If the animal is still alive and you leave the scene of the accident, you violate the animal protection act. The tenant of the hunt takes car of the injured or dead animal. If the animal runs away after the accident by itself, please still inform the tenant of the hunt as the animal could be in a state of shock and perish painfully.

Please don’t touch the animal under any circumstances! It could panic and hurt you. In addition, there is a risk that the animal suffers from rabies or other diseases. It is forbidden by law to take the animal with you or even eat it later!

The tenant of the hunt doesn’t have any right to charge anything for the removal of the animal or demand compensation for a dead animal unless you fail to report the accident.

Usually, the insurance covers the damage on the car caused by an animal-vehicle crash. However, if the insurance is only partially comprehensive, it only comes up for collisions with game animals. If it is fully comprehensive, it covers damages by all kind of animals. For evidentiary purposes, don’t miss to take pictures of the site of accident scene and ask the tenant of the hunt for a written confirmation that you had an animal-vehicle crash.

Read more: Car accidents – police assistance isn’t always needed.

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