Car vs. Animal accidents: how to stay safe with wildlife on the roads

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In the last two weeks, News 12 has reported on two major accidents involving wildlife, one of them, a fatal accident. Thursday, Daniella Rivera spoke with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol on how to better protect yourself from animals that may wander onto the road.

In a car vs. animal situation, the animal quickly becomes a life threatening obstacle.

"Car cow...and increasingly with the hogs and stuff like that, we're working a lot of animals on the roadway," said OHP Lt. Scott Hampton.

Earlier this month, we reported a fatal accident in Denison, involving a motorcyclist who struck a feral hog while driving at night.

And Tuesday, two Bonham women were injured after hitting a cow in Bryan County.

"They hit a black cow standing in the middle of the road, and that's almost an unavoidable accident," said Lt. Hampton.

Car vs animal accidents don't just happen out in the country. Just earlier this week, a Gunter Police Officer had a close run in with deer, right by the Gunter High School.

Dash cam video from Tuesday night shows the officer traveling on State Highway 289 as he sees a deer cross the road in front of him. After he slows to 15 miles per hour, a second dear runs into the car. Because the officer slowed down, both he and the deer were unharmed, but Gunter Police and OHP caution drivers to watch out.

"Expect that there may be animals out on the roadway," said Lt. Hampton.

Stacy Rake with Nationwide Insurance says animal collision is under comprehensive coverage in an auto insurance policy. But if you hit a cow on the loose? "It can be that the animal owner is liable, if they're negligent, if they're not maintaining their fences."

While Lt. Hampton warns drivers to slow down and use caution because some animals make it out anyway, "They're upwards of 1,000 and 2,000 lb. animals, and if they want to get through that fence, they'll get through that fence."