The idea of accidentally hitting an innocent animal on the road is not nice at all. Unfortunately however, it happens more often than we’d like to think – so here is some useful information to help you know how best to handle the situation.
First of all, stay calm; take deep breaths and remain in control of the situation. If you stop, make sure it’s safe to do so and you’re not causing danger to yourself or other road users.
The law requires that you should report to the police immediately if you hit a dog, a horse, cattle, sheep and goats, donkeys, mules and pigs. If you hit another type of animal, such as a cat or a fox, you are not required by law to report it but you should still act accordingly. Don’t leave a creature suffering; there’s a chance you might be able to save its life.
When approaching an injured animal, it will very likely be in distress and might even try to attack you. If the animal is having a seizure do not attempt to stop it and keep your hands away from its mouth in case it bites you. If you realise you have hit someone’s pet, you should try and find a way to get hold of the owner’s details. The animal could very likely be microchipped, or live close to the scene.
If you are unable to trace the animal’s owner, you should report the accident to the police within 24 hours. They should have a list of vets that can help, should the injured animal require urgent care. You should get an idea of how badly hurt it is. If the creature is moveable, take it to the nearest vet immediately.
As mentioned before, your actions could make a difference between life and death.
Safe driving from Britannia!