Avoiding Vehicle Collisions With Wild Animals
Bay News 9 recently reported that two more endangered Florida panthers have been found dead in just two days after being hit by vehicles. According to officials, this brings the total number of deaths this year to 26. While Florida panthers once roamed the entire Southeast, these days their habitat is mostly confined to a small region of Florida along the Gulf of Mexico. Sadly, there are only about 230 panthers remaining in the wild here in the Sunshine State. And as unfortunate as incidents like these are for the wild animals involved in this tragic incident, the animals on the road are not the only ones at risk.
How Common Are These Accidents?
Statistics indicate that collisions with wild animals are a growing problem in this country and represent an increasing percentage of the accidents on our roads. According to the results of one study published by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, there are an estimated one to two million collisions between cars and large animals every year in the United States. And while you may assume these kinds of accidents are only a problem in remote, rural locations, 89 percent of the collisions that occurred between 2001 and 2005 were on two-lane roads like those that are prevalent in the cities and suburban areas many of us live and work in.
What Can I do to Help Avoid These Accidents?
No one wants to hit an animal. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help avoid it. You should undertake efforts to:
- Pay extra alert at dawn and dusk when many wild animals are the most active
- Always turn on your headlights when it’s dark or raining
- Look for more animals if you see one as they often travel in groups
Unfortunately, there are some circumstances where hitting a wild animal while behind the wheel is totally unavoidable. In those circumstances, you can pull over and, if you can do so safely, call a local vet or wildlife center to come help the wounded animal. However, no matter how bad you may feel, do not forget that your ultimate responsibility while behind the wheel is to yourself, your passengers, and other motorists. Additionally, if you have been injured in an accident where your car was the only one involved, you may still have legal options for compensation for your injuries.
Turn to Us for Help.
We hope you never have to experience a car accident involving an animal or otherwise. However, we all know that car accidents occur every day. Whether you are the victim of a car crash involving an animal or are involved in some other kind of accident, obtaining competent legal help is vital in cases involving serious injury to yourself or another person, or if a loved one of yours has died as a result of such an accident. As the Tampa personal injury attorneys at The Pendas Law Firm, we can evaluate your case and advise you as to what legal options you have. We advocate for accident victims and we can help you recover any compensation you are entitled to. Contact us today so we can begin discussing your best options for proceeding.
The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Fort Lauderdale, Ocala, Fort Myers, Bradenton, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Miami, Orlando and Daytona Beach areas.