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How to Drive when Animals Block Your Car

A NJ Auto Insurance Alert

“There I was, at peace with the world as I drove my car along the highway. Then, out of seemingly nowhere, a deer suddenly sprinted into the road in front of me…”

There’s definitely a difference between a big animal crossing your driving path and a small one, like a duck, goose or squirrel.

In the case of a deer or other large animal, the experts tell us to swerve out of its way if possible. That’s because knocking into such a mammal may not only put the animal at risk, but you and your passengers as well.  

Attempt to swerve by:

  • Verify traffic safety by looking in the rear mirror

  • Brake as hard as you can, while keeping your vehicle straight

  • For vehicles without ABS, reduce pressure on brakes just before you meet the deer

  • Veer towards the end of the animal as it is probable it will continue crossing.

 When it comes to fowl or rodents, though, the technique is different.  An attempt to save a crossing duck or other small animal could land you in trouble with the law if it causes a serious accident.


3 Tips on a Small Animal/Vehicle Encounter

  1. If there is no other vehicle behind you, slow down while going around the animal, or come to a straight stop and wait for it to pass you.

  2. If there is another vehicle behind you, value human life before the animal’s. If there’s even a remote chance that you will cause an accident by slowing down or stopping for that critter, don’t change your course of driving. Opt for hitting the animal instead of risking injury or death to any person.  

  3. Should you be concerned about the ducks or geese that you may have hit, resume driving until it is safe to pull to the side and summon the appropriate help.


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Summary: You are driving along the highway when out of the corner of your eye you notice a small brown furry or feathered thing darting right in front of you. What do you do? Get the answer from the NJ auto insurance pros.


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