According to a recent article, because it is fall, roadkill accidents are up in Eastern Tennessee. With bears out and about, looking for food, some roadkill accidents even involved bears. While you want to avoid hitting smaller animals such as dog, cats, and turkeys, hitting larger animals, such as bears, can cause even greater damage to your vehicle as well as increase your chances of bodily injury. So far this year, there have been over 40 bears killed by vehicles in Eastern Tennessee. There are several things you can do to reduce your chances of hitting a bear or other large animal as well as to better protect yourself if you do hit a larger animal while driving.
- Slow down. This is particularly important in rural areas, areas where your visibility is limited, and areas where bears have been spotted. Traveling slower will allow you more reaction time.
- When possible, drive during the daylight when driving in areas where you are more likely to encounter bears or other wildlife.
- Be an observant driver. This means eliminating distractions such as cell phones, food and drinks, and switching radio stations. It may also require you to limit your conversations with passengers. If you see a bear or other animal on the side of the road, be ready to slow down or stop.
- While your instinct might be to swerve to avoid hitting a bear, do not do that. You may end up driving off the road, rolling your vehicle, or hitting another vehicle. Instead, slow down and stop, if possible. The slower you are traveling when you hit the bear, the less damage to your vehicle.
- Always wear your seatbelt. While wearing your seatbelt will not prevent a crash involving a bear, it will help to decrease your chances of being severely injured or killed.
- If you do hit a bear, do not get out of your vehicle to check on the bear. It may only be injured, and it may attack you. Instead, call the proper authorities to report the accident.
Of course, it is important to seek medical attention and proper care right away after being involved in any automobile accident involving injuries. If you were injured in an accident where another driver was at fault, our car accident attorneys can help you. Contact us to discuss the specifics of your individual situation.