IC Safety from Protective Insurance Company
November 2013 An exclusive publication for Protective's independent contractors
Oh deer! Avoid collisions with animals
Every day truck drivers share the road with other vehicles as they attempt to safely navigate their route. Drivers are used to looking out for cars and adjusting their driving behavior accordingly to avoid collisions. However, animals can present a similar hazard on the road, requiring the same focus to avoid collisions.
Deer, livestock or other animals might suddenly run onto the road. Collisions with animals tend to happen in rural areas just after dusk and just before dawn, when visibility is low. Look for “animal crossing” or other signs posted in areas with a high volume of animals. Dead animals along the roadway are sure signs of activity.
Honking a horn can sometimes prevent deer or other animals from running into traffic but remember that animals are unpredictable. Braking firmly and not swerving is the best course of action. If you strike an animal, be careful when exiting the vehicle. The animal could still be alive and charge at the driver. It’s safer to stay in the vehicle and call 911 to report the collision.
You may also encounter horse-drawn vehicles like buggies in rural areas, particularly near Amish communities. Normal speeds for horse-drawn buggies range from 5 to 8 mph. Rural roads are often narrower in width, hillier and curvier than city streets, so seeing these vehicles can be difficult and passing can be dangerous. Only pass when it’s legal and safe to do so. The horses are normally accustomed to traffic, however be aware that your vehicle can spook the horse at any time, causing them to instantly change their behavior. Slow down and give the horse-drawn buggies plenty of room when passing.
Download our free Animal Alert poster for tips on how to prevent collisions with animals.
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Free Download: Animal Alert poster
Prevent collisions with animals by following the tips on this poster. Download free poster >>