A recent court case in BC involved a vehicle striking a moose. The case arose from an animal-vehicle collision that occurred on the night of January 19, 2004, on Highway 37, approximately one kilometer south of the Terrace-Kitimat airport. A truck driver was northbound on the clear, dry, straight, level highway when his truck hit a moose and knocked it so that it completely stretched across the southbound lane.
The van driver lost because the court found that even if the truck had been moved off the road, the van would still have hit the moose carcass. The point is that there must be a connection between negligence and injuries. In this case, it was the moose carcass on the road that caused the injuries, and not the truck driver’s mistakes.
Animal-vehicle collisions are often unavoidable accidents. However, in areas where animals such as deer and moose are present near the highway, here are some precautions to keep in mind:
- Look for Deer-crossing warning signs.
- Keep your speed down, particularly at night, even on the main highway.
- If you see one animal by the roadside, you can expect others.
- Stay off the cell phone.
- At night use your high beams if possible. This gives a better chance of spotting the animal.
- Know which times are worse than others. (Typically, an hour before sunset until midnight).
- If you do see an animal in the road ahead, sound the horn.
- An attempt to swerve around the animal may lead to loss of control. It can also result in a collision if the animal leaps into the path of the swerving vehicle.
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