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You versus a moose: What should you do if you hit one?

As you already know, driving on the winter roads of Montana can become extremely hazardous. You have enough to deal with in terms of snow and ice. The last thing you need is having a moose decide to cross the road right in front of your car.

It goes without saying that any time you see a moose or any other wild animal close to the road, you should slow down as much as possible. If you see one, others likely are nearby. This makes it particularly important that you keep your speed down and your vigilance up at night when even your car’s high-beam headlights make it difficult for you to see animals approaching the roadway.

InsuranceHotline.com cautions that if a moose or other large animal runs out in front of your car, you should consciously resist your instinct to swerve around it. Swerving can be more dangerous than hitting the moose, especially if the road on which you are driving is icy or snow packed. Violently jerking your steering wheel puts you at risk of losing control of your car and crashing into things other than the moose, such as oncoming traffic, a guardrail, etc.

Collision aftermath

If you hit the moose, you should follow the following four-step procedure:

  1. Pull over to the shoulder as quickly as safely possible and turn on your blinkers.
  2. Call 911 on your cellphone immediately to report any passenger and/or animal injuries.
  3. Do not try to help the moose. Remember that it is far bigger than you and likely will try to attack you if you try to render aid to it. Wait for the first responders to show up.
  4. If you can safely do so, carefully get out of your car and check it for damage that makes it undrivable, such as blown tires, leaking gas or other fluids, an obvious misalignment, etc. If you find such damage, call your roadside assistance service if you have one or call 911 back to request a tow.

This is general educational information only and not intended to provide legal advice.

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