What to do when you have an animal accident

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Shocked Women

There is possibly nothing worse than accidentally hitting an animal that runs out in the middle of the road. Sometimes our reactions just are not quick enough, which means we don’t have time to stop. One thing you do need to know if you ever hit an animal is what you have to do after. Here we tell you what to do when you have an animal accident.

What animals do I report in an animal accident

Many people don’t know that when you hit certain animals, you are legally required to report it to the police. Animals covered by The Road Traffic Act 1988 such as dogs, goats, horses, cows, donkeys, mules, sheep and pigs.

If you do hit an animal that is not covered in the Road traffic act such as cat or foxes you are not legally required to tell the police however we still recommend you make them aware by calling the non-emergency number 101.

Cat on Road

I have hit an animal what do I do now?

Stop your vehicle

Firstly you are going to want to stop your car where it is safe to do so. You should also stop even if it was not your fault.

Remain at the scene

You should never flee the scene, like any other road accident you should stay with your vehicle so when it comes time to hand over your information you can do so. Anyone involved in the accident can ask for your information this includes road users, owners of the animals or even the police.

How to approach the animal

When in any form of road accident you need to remain calm at all times, unfortunately, our bodies react in so many different ways we might do something we possibly would not normally do. Risking our own safety as well as the animals.

You need to ensure you are aware of your surroundings, the last thing you want to do is get hit by a vehicle yourself. Make sure you know where other cars are on the roads before attempting to walk over to the animal.

When you go to approach the animal, you must take into consideration that it will be scared and might possibly try to attack you. If you think you may have accidentally hit someone’s pet make sure to call the owner if the details are on the collar or take it to the closest vet.

Contact the police if necessary

If you have hit an animal mentioned in the Road Traffic Act you must make the police aware; you have 24 hours to do this, you can either call 101 or go to your local police station.

If you believe the animal needs urgent assistance and you don’t know the area call the police, and they will be able to give you a list of local vets that can assist.

I hit a cat what do I do?

While cats are not in the Road traffic act, cats are frequently caught up in road accidents. If you can move the cat, we recommend taking it to the nearest vet possible. If the cat cannot be identified, you should try to inform your local community. The last thing you want is for a pet owner to be looking for a missing cat when in reality it could be hurt. You should do your utmost best to raise awareness and inform any querying the cat’s whereabouts.

I hit a deer what do I do?

If you accidentally hit a deer, it can have a significant impact on your car, while you may think that it is a gentle animal they are large and heavy. There are around 74,00 accidents that have involved dear in the UK.

One thing we would say is normally where there may be deer there usually are warning signs which you must look out for. The speed limit often changes when you are around deer; it is usually 30, you should always stick to the speed limit otherwise you are not only putting yourself in danger but also the animals. There will often be road signs showing that deer can be seen in surrounding areas. You should report any collisions to the police.

In some cases when you have hit a deer your car may need Car Body Repairs in Aylesbury. You should have this looked at as soon as possible as a left dent or scratch can more damage if left.

Deer in Road

What to do when you hit a wild animal?

Many people don’t bother checking if an animal is okay after it has been hit, whether it was by them or someone else. If you notice an animal that is possibly injured you should observe it to try and get an idea of its health. We do recommend that you only do this if you feel it is safe to do so. You should call the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999 or take it to your local vet.

There is a dead animal on the side of the road

It is not your personal responsibility to remove any dead animals, the local council will come and collect any animals found on the road. If an animal has been left for long periods of time we recommend getting in touch with the council to inform them exactly where it is.


Hitting an animal is devastating however sometimes cannot be missed. If you do find yourself in this predicament, we recommend staying calm at all times. The last thing you want to do is panic; we often react in different ways when shocked. Take your time and only approach an animal if you feel safe to do so. If it is listed in the Road Traffic Act, you are legally obliged to inform the police. If it is not, we recommend either taking it to a local vet or informing the RSPCA. If you have hit a deer, we recommend having your car checked, while there may only be a few scratches or dents on the exterior of your car you could have more severe damage internally.

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