Jainchill & Beckert, LLC

Coexisting with wildlife as days get shorter

Connecticut drivers may have to adjust their driving habits as the days get shorter. Nov. 5 marked the end of Daylight Saving Time, and it comes at a time of year in which animals are mating or looking for food before winter. Deer, bears and other forms of wildlife could be roaming the streets during morning and evening commutes. As a general rule, drivers should reduce their speed during periods when it is harder to see.

Stopping suddenly may be easier and safer when traveling at a reasonable speed, which can help reduce the odds of an accident occurring. Those who see a single animal on the road should be on the lookout for others nearby. In some cases, it may be possible to spot an animal by looking for pairs of bright eyes on the side of or in the road.

If an animal is spotted, it may be a good idea to either flash the vehicle's lights or honk the horn. This may startle the animal just enough to get off of the road, and taking such actions may make other drivers aware of the potential hazard ahead. If a driver is involved in a collision with an animal, it may be possible to avoid serious injury by wearing a safety belt.

An accident involving a vehicle and an animal may result in injuries. For injured individuals who wish to take legal action, it may be possible to claim negligence on behalf of the government or other entities if there were no signs warning about the potential for wildlife in the area. Passengers in vehicles injured in such a car accident might take legal action against the driver of the vehicle if his or her negligent action caused the crash.

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