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Should you swerve to avoid an animal?

On Behalf of | Jul 6, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

An animal darts into the road in front of you. You see the eyes as it freezes in your headlights, and you have to decide what to do instantly. You have to react.

Your instincts tell you to swerve to the left and go around it. That’s the easiest way to avoid a crash. But should you actually do that?

Do not cause a two-car crash

The truth is that these types of animal-related issues often lead to serious car accidents. The driver will instinctively swerve to the left, and they’ll drive right into oncoming traffic. This maneuver then causes a collision with another vehicle, which is much more dangerous for everyone than if they would’ve just held their course in the same lane. This is why you’re better off hitting the brakes and seeing if you can slow down as much as possible – or even stop.

In some cases, people argue that they could see that the oncoming lane was empty. So they’ll say that you should swerve to avoid the crash.

But even that is risky because it makes it a judgment call. If you’re wrong about that lane being empty or how much distance you have – maybe it’s night and visibility isn’t good – then you could cause an accident.

What if someone else hits you?

You may know that you’re not supposed to swerve, but not all drivers do. If someone else makes a mistake, drives into your lane, and severely injures you in a crash, then you may be able to seek financial compensation for your medical bills and other costs.