When people think of Daytona Beach and much of Florida, they tend to think of beaches, sand, and sun. Yet Florida is a vast state with different kinds of environs, many of which are teeming with gorgeous wildlife. While driving, there's a chance you may see some of these majestic creatures, and even a danger that these animals may wind up on the road you're on.
Auto accidents with animals and wildlife can be deadly, which is why our team of attorneys would like to consider these kinds of collisions right now.
Be Wary of Animal Crossings
Animal crossing signs are a sure reason to exercise caution. Whether it's deer or smaller wildlife such as ducks and rabbits, collisions with wildlife can lead to vehicle damage, injuries, and even fatal crashes. What's more, drivers may swerve to avoid striking animals, causing them to strike other vehicles, drive off the road, or collide with medians, dividers, or other objects on or near the road.
For statistical perspective, it's been estimated that up to 500,000 collisions with deer alone occur every year. This results in 100 to 200 fatalities, and billions of dollars worth in damage.
Major Vehicle Damage from Striking Animals
Whether it's a deer or a duck, striking an animal can lead to major vehicle damage. Even small animals hit at high speeds can lead to major impacts, ruining chassis, windshields, windows, and tires in the process.
Roadkill Can Cause Collisions and Crashes as Well
In addition to live animals, the carcasses of dead animals on the road can lead to hazards. Motorists may strike roadkill, leading to vehicle damage and the loss of control of a vehicle. Swerving to avoid roadkill can also lead to the same dangers noted above with regard to avoiding live animals.
Roadkill needs to be reported and cleared away by the proper authorities. It's just as dangerous as any object laying in the road (e.g., a tire, a large tree limb), and needs to be taken seriously to avoid serious harm.
How to Stay Safe While on the Road
If you're driving in rural areas or on road that you know are near woods or nature reserves where many animals dwell, be sure to be extra attentive as you drive. Use animal crossing signs as a warning to be on extra alert.
Many wild animals are nocturnal, which means you must exercise additional caution when driving at night. This heightened level of awareness can mean the different between a brief and harmless encounter with the natural world and a catastrophic accident.
Do I Have Legal Options After an Animal Collision?
Obviously you can't sue wildlife or take an animal to court. These kinds of legal actions are too absurd to even consider. However, there may be some legal options to consider after a collision at an animal crossing. For instance, there may be a lack of road signs in the area alerting motorists to the presence of wildlife in the area. If an injured animal remains on the road for a long time without being cleared away, local authorities may be liable for increasing the risk of a collision through their inaction.
How Our Accident Lawyers Can Help
As you can imagine, these issues can be complicated from a legal standpoint, which is why it's so important to speak with skilled accident lawyers about your case. They may find some party is legally liable for a collision or contributing to a collision, and will help hold said part accountable.
Contact Our Team of Attorneys
For more information about your legal options following any sort of motor vehicle collision, it's of the utmost importance that you contact our team of auto accident attorneys today. Our lawyers will fight for you every step of the way and hold negligent parties accountable for their actions.