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You versus a moose: What to do if you hit one

At Terrazas Henkel, P.C., in Montana, we know the serious injuries you can receive in an auto accident. We also know that not all accidents represent cars colliding with each other. Sometimes you collide with one of our state's most recognized large animals: a moose.

Unfortunately for drivers, this time of year is exactly when female moose and their offspring tend to roam a lot, especially at dusk and dawn. Your best strategy when driving, particularly at these times of day, is to slow down and maintain constant vigilance for moose. If you see one, assume more are nearby.

Resist swerving

As counterintuitive as it may sound, Insurance Hotline strongly recommends that you resist the urge to swerve if a moose dashes across the road in front of you. Swerving, especially violently, could result in a loss of control over your vehicle. You could crash into a guardrail, tree or, worse yet, into an oncoming vehicle. Rather than swerving, attempt to quickly slow down so as to avoid hitting the moose.

After the collision

If, despite your best efforts, you hit the moose, do the following:

  1. Pull over to the side of the road as far as you safely can and turn on your hazard lights.
  2. Use your cellphone to immediately call 911 and report the accident. If you or your passengers appear injured, request emergency assistance. Also request emergency animal assistance, especially if the injured moose lies in the roadway.
  3. Do not attempt to help the moose yourself. An injured wild animal often tries to attack the person rendering assistance to it.
  4. Cautiously exit your vehicle if you can do so safely and check for vehicle damage, especially leaking fluids or damage that renders your vehicle undriveable.
  5. If your vehicle is undriveable, call your roadside assistance company and request a tow if you have such coverage. If not, recall 911 and request a tow.

For more information, please visit this page of our website.

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