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25 Crash Causes: Animal Crossings

Written by Jared Staver

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Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Auto Accidents, Personal Injury, Top 25 Causes of Car Crashes


Animal crossing accidents have been on the rise in the last couple of decades, and the fall season around November is peak time for unexpected animal collisions on the road. Deer vs. vehicle collisions alone cause about 200 fatalities annually and cost billions of dollars in damages.

In states other than Illinois, incidents involving large wildlife such as grizzly bears, bighorn sheep, or even endangered species like red wolves often turn deadly. In some cases, smaller animals such as rabbits and chipmunks can also startle or frighten a driver by suddenly appearing in the middle of the road.

When driving in rural wooded areas with abundant wildlife — or even in Chicago where you’re increasingly likely to stumble across a coyote — you should take extra precautions. Most roads are equipped with signs to notify drivers of potential animal crossings. If you see a warning sign, it is best to take precautions to minimize the risk of running into an animal — which can cause an accident that injures you and others.

Animals darting across the road is one of the top 25 causes of car crashes. If you’ve been the victim of an accident caused by a driver who hit an animal on the road, the skilled attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. can discuss your options for pursuing compensation of your injuries and other losses.

What to Know About Animal Crossing Accidents

The following are some tips that may help prevent an accident caused by an animal crossing the road.

  • Since animals are most active around dawn (4 a.m. to 6 a.m.) and dusk (6 p.m. to 11 p.m.), drivers should be extra vigilant during these hours.
  • Look up the types of wildlife present in your neighborhood or travel destination and know which roads they appear around to avoid surprises.
  • Do not speed down unfamiliar roads, especially at night. Deer usually jump out quickly and you might not have enough time to come to a safe stop.
  • When you see an animal on the road, honk a few times to goad it off the road and to warn other motorists.
  • Try not to swerve to avoid hitting the animal. Instead, slow down as best as you can and maintain control of the wheel. Swerving can lead to even worse accidents if you run into another vehicle.
  • When you cannot avoid hitting an animal, pull over to the side of the road and report the accident to local law enforcement. Since there are usually state laws regarding animal-vehicle accidents, fleeing the scene can be regarded as a crime.

How Our Lawyers Can Help

Serious accidents can be prevented when you are informed and aware of possible animal crossings. However, not all drivers on the road practice safe driving techniques.

For example, in the event of an animal encounter, a distracted driver might not have enough time to slow down and may end up swerving into oncoming traffic. Others’ risky driving behaviors can result in your being injured by circumstances beyond your control.

If you or your family were injured in an auto accident injury caused by someone else’s negligence, the attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. can help. We understand that the aftermath of a severe car accident can be stressful and overwhelming, not to mention financially damaging.

Our team of experienced Chicago personal injury lawyers can guide you through the legal process from start to finish. We can handle all of the paperwork, evidence collection, negotiations, and the court process so that you can focus on making a full recovery.

The dedicated team at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. will fight for the compensation that you deserve following a serious accident or injury. Give us a call today at (312) 236-2900 to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our knowledgeable lawyers.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900
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