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Wild accident with the car, what now? How do I behave correctly?

Deer crossing a road at an approaching vehicle on the subject of a wild accident car

It happened... despite the fact that you are concentrated on every car ride, observe the speed limit and are a careful driver, there was a game damage. The car is badly damaged, in front of you there is a dead animal on the road and far and wide there is not a soul to be seen.What do you do first? How do you behave in this situation? Who pays for the damage to the car caused by wild? And most importantly, how can you avoid a wild accident?We would like to answer all these questions in this article, give you tips and advice and show you how to minimize the risk of a wild accident.

When is it called a wild accident?
What factors favor a wild accident with the car and when is the risk highest?
How do I react when I encounter wild and how can I avoid the risk for wild accident?
What is the right way to behave in case of wild accident with the car?
Wild accident with the car - Who pays? Is my partial cover insurance sufficient in the event of a wild accident?

When is it called a wild accident?

In the case of a wild accident or wild damage to a car, we are talking about either a collision with a wild animal and a vehicle or damage caused by a swerving maneuver by wildlife on the road.

It is a wild accident with the car with the following animals:

  • deer
  • stag
  • wild boars
  • seals and otters
  • rabbits, foxes, martens
  • elks, bisons

On average, there is damage to a car caused by game every two minutes on German roads. In 2019, car insurers recorded around 295,000 incidents, more than ever before and the trend is rising. Collisions with deer occur frequently, closely followed by wild boar. Accidents involving small animals, farm animals, and feathered game do not count as wild accidents.

What factors favor a wild accident with the car and when is the risk highest?

Warning sign wild crossing

Wild accidents predominantly occur in the early morning or evening hours. Forest and field sections are particularly dangerous, as this is the habitat of wild animals. From September to January, but also from July to August, many wild animals are in rut. At these times they are particularly active, often behave uncontrollably and can run onto the road. But beware: a wild accident is to be expected all year round!

When wild animals can no longer find enough food in their safe habitat, the so-called game crossing occurs. They change between forests and fields and have to cross many roads. Dangerous road sections are marked with a warning sign for game, here you should drive on accordingly attentively. A careless and fast driving style, as well as distractions at the wheel are frequent reasons for wild damage to the car.

At a speed of 80 km/h one has a braking distance of about 55m and at 100 km/h it is even just under 80m. The risk of a wild accident with the car is thereby frighteningly high and can have serious consequences.

How do I react when I encounter wild and how can I avoid the risk for a wild accident?

Drive very attentively and carefully over country roads and forest sections, which may even be marked with a warning sign for game, and be ready to brake. A good headlight can help you a lot at dusk or in the dark. Modern halogen lamps such as the "Night Breaker Laser" from Osram provide significantly higher illumination of the streets than ordinary light bulbs. This allows you to see the animals earlier and react accordingly. In addition, a clean windshield should always give you a clear view of the traffic.

If you spot a wild animal on the side of the road or already on the road, reduce your speed, without immediately going into full braking. Be sure to keep an eye out for possible drivers behind you so that a rear-end collision does not occur. Turn off your high beams and do not use your flashers. This blinds animals and they usually stop in irritation. It is better if you scare the wild animal away by honking your horn, thus avoiding a deer accident.

Weigh whether an evasive maneuver makes sense without harming other road users. Keep in mind that a collision with a rabbit is not as dangerous as with a deer. Often a collision is more sensible than an evasive maneuver, as this can result in less damage.

In addition, it should be noted that wild animals are usually not alone on the road. More animals can follow immediately. You can also alert other road users to the danger zone by flashing your lights to avoid a wildlife accident.

What is the right way to behave in case of wild accident with the car?

set up warning triangle in case of damage caused by wild
  • Keep calm! Bring your vehicle to a stop and turn on the warning lights. Put on your high visibility vest and safeguard the accident site additionally by the warning triangle.
  • Are any persons injured? If so, dial 112 and provide first aid.
  • In any case inform the police under the 110.
  • Contact the responsible forester (gladly with the help of the police), which usually issues you a wild damage certificate. You need this in the settlement with your insurance.
  • If possible, pull the dead animal only with gloves (due to viruses, rabies risk) to the roadside to avoid further wildlife accidents. Never remove dead animals from the scene of an accident, so you make yourself punishable by poaching!
  • Never touch animals that are still alive, leave this to the forester or hunter.
  • Memorize the animal's direction of escape, if possible. This can be a great help to the forester or hunter.
  • Do not leave the scene of an accident until everything has been recorded by the police and forester.

If an injured animal is not reported after a wildlife accident, you could face charges of animal cruelty. This can lead to fines of up to 50,000 euros. It is therefore advisable to clarify the facts directly.

Wild accident with the car - Who pays? Is my partial cover insurance sufficient in the event of a wild accident?

After the wild accident, you have a five-day period to report the incident to your insurance company. To do this, you need the accident report of the police, as well as the above-mentioned wild damage certificate of the forester. Own photos of the accident site and the damage can also be very helpful. It should be noted that the photos should be taken directly at the scene, immediately after the wild accident.

Mere liability insurance does not cover a wild accident, as this only takes over third-party damage. Should you have taken out a partial casco insurance before the deer accident, you are usually on the safe side. Damage that can not be clearly assigned to a deer accident is covered by a fully comprehensive insurance.

Can I report a wild accident after the fact?
The shock is often very large, so that the call to the police is forgotten. In the case of a wild accident, a subsequent report is generally possible. You will then be issued a subsequent accident report and a wild damage certificate, with which you can then report to your insurance company. However, it is advisable to report the incident directly at the scene of the accident.

A wild accident can happen to us all, because wild animals unfortunately do not know any traffic rules. The decision-making power lies with us humans. Car manufacturers are now working on solutions in the form of emergency brake assistants, which are supposed to intervene at the right moment and keep damage to a minimum. Unfortunately, these systems are not yet fully developed, because a great many factors play a role in emergency braking.

So it's up to us and our driving style to avoid a deer accident. And if it does happen, you now know how to deal with it properly. We wish you a good and safe trip!

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