May 5, 2015- Richmond, VA
At approximately 2:00 AM, in the 2200 block of East Leigh Street, a driver slammed into a residential building in an attempt to avoid hitting an animal crossing the roadway. While the driver was not injured in the accident, the damage to the home may be substantial.
For cars on a collision path with an animal on the road, most injuries occur when the car crashes following the near-collision or impact with the animal. While it is reflexive for drivers to do so, swerving or suddenly adjusting one’s vehicle may be much more dangerous than actually hitting an animal.
In Virginia, drivers have the duty to use ordinary care to keep a proper lookout, keep their vehicle under proper control, and to operate their vehicle at a reasonable speed under the existing conditions. Drivers who fail to use reasonable care and cause injury to others may be required to pay damages.
So while not every animal-related collision can be avoided, there are precautions that drivers should consider in order to minimize the potential of getting into or causing an accident. Drivers can improve their ability to animals a few seconds earlier by using high-beam headlights when appropriate while driving at night. Nighttime drivers are also advised remain on the lookout for “eye shine” caused by animals’ eyes reflecting the glow of headlights.