As you drive down the road, an animal suddenly leaps in your path. How can you avoid being injured?
This is a problem that occurs more often than you might think. According to the CDC, there were 247,000 instances in 2000 where a car or SUV, van or pickup truck struck an animal directly on the road. These crashes can lead to fatalities. According to the CDC, more than 26600 people were hurt and 200 passengers died in these crashes between 2001-2002. These numbers do not include accidents between motorbikes and animals, according to the CDC. Half of all injury crashes involved drivers hitting an animal head-on. Drivers who tried to avoid hitting an animal head-on caused about half of the injury crashes. Sometimes the vehicle rolled over or left the road.
These numbers were nearly equally split between men and woman. The highest injury rates were recorded in teens and young adults (37%) according to the CDC. These crashes involved large animals like deer, elk and bears as well as horses and cattle. Large animals most frequently involved in crashes were deer. What should you do if an animal wanders onto the road? The CDC suggests that you maximize your reaction time.
According to the CDC study, drivers will be able to respond faster and avoid collisions if they drive within speed limits. Follow safety guidelines like buckle up and making sure that booster seats and child safety seats are properly used. This will ensure that you and your passengers are prepared for any road conditions.