September 18, 2015
The right lane of Interstate 64 east was closed this morning after a loose dog near mile marker 198 resulted in a major crash.
According to CBS 6 News, the driver of a 2012 International box truck was forced to quickly reduce speed to avoid hitting dogs in the roadway, causing a rear-end collision with a 2013 Peterbilt tanker.
Neither driver was injured, although approximately 50 feet of guard rail sustained significant damage.
In Virginia, the law requires that dog owners to use “reasonable care” in restraining and controlling their dogs. This means that injured parties may be able to recover damages if their injuries resulted from the owner’s failure to use reasonable care to restrain or handle the dog.
However, victims are barred from recovery if they are in any way responsible for their own injury. So even though a dog owner may be negligent in allowing their dog to run loose in the road, an injured driver may not be able to recover damages if they were, for example, texting at the time of the collision.
Where there is time to avoid hitting an animal, safety experts advise drivers to sound their horn as a measure to both warn other drivers and possibly scare the animal off the road. In the event that collision is inevitable, attempting to swerve around the animal may actually do more harm than good. While it may seem counterintuitive, evasive maneuvers will likely increase the risk of injury to both the driver and to other vehicles on the road.