Having a collision with an animal while driving on the road is a stressful experience. Animals can behave unpredictably, especially when they are frightened by the noise and lights from a vehicle, which often leads to accidents. We’ve put together some important information on what to do if you hit a farm animal or someone’s pet while driving.
What Should I Do If I’ve Hit A Farm Animal Or Pet?
Stop And Assist The Animal
In the same way that you should stop if it’s safe to do so if you hit a kangaroo or another wild animal, you should find a safe place to pull over and park your vehicle. Remember to put your hazard lights on, especially if you’ve pulled to the side of a road. Check that it’s safe to approach the animal, as animals may become aggressive when they’re distressed and injured. Make sure you’re not in danger of being hit by traffic on the road – especially if you’re on a busy suburban road. You are required to do whatever you reasonably can to ease the animal’s pain.
Contact The Owner Or The Police
You’ll also need to report the injury or death to the owner of the animal or the police. If the animal hasn’t survived and you are able to move it to the side of the road, you should do so. That way it won’t become a hazard for other road users.
Am I At Fault If I Hit A Domestic Animal On The Road?
In most states and territories across Australia, the owner of a domestic animal is required to take reasonable care. What this means is that the owner is responsible for the animal and must take steps to prevent it from wandering into the road and creating a hazard. For example, an owner could take reasonable care by fencing their property to keep their animal inside, or by latching a gate so the animal can’t escape. However, what is considered ‘reasonable care’ can vary depending on the type of animal and the location of the accident. If the owner of a domestic animal didn’t take reasonable care, then their negligence would make them responsible for the accident.
Can Right2Drive Assist Me If I’ve Hit A Farm Animal Or Pet?
If your vehicle has been damaged by a straying animal (farm animal or pet) that has an owner who has acknowledged they have not taken reasonable steps to prevent it from wandering into the road and creating a hazard, you may be eligible for an accident replacement vehicle. Please contact us to discuss your eligibility.