Driving Near Animals

Animals can sometimes seem like a bit of a nuisance when you are in a hurry to get the children from school, make it to an important meeting or simply going for a drive.

Even though you might sometimes feel this way, animals have as much right to the road as drivers... After all, they came first!

In an ideal world, animals would be kept well away from roads all the time, but it's often necessary to use roads to gain access. With this in mind, it makes sense to share the roads safely – an animal might delay you for a couple of minutes, but an accident can delay you for hours, months or years.

Understanding Animals

Animals are often quite nervous, if they get frightened they will try to escape from whatever it is that worries them. This might be your car, or any movement or object at the side of the road... Litter blowing in the wind, road signs, trees or anything at all.

Animals can take exception to the strangest things. Their ability to twist their ears also warns them of dangers. Just because you are in a position where the animal can see you it doesn't mean that it will be happy with your presence.

Single (monocular) vision makes it difficult for animals to measure absolute speed and position of things around them. This makes it common for animals to overreact to things behind them and beside them.

Top Tips for Staying Safe Near Animals

Watch out for animals being led or ridden on the road.
Take extra care at left-hand bends and on narrow country roads.
Drive slowly past animals.
Give animals plenty of room and be ready to stop.
Do not scare animals by sounding your horn or revving your engine.
Riders of horses and ponies are often children - so take extra care.
Treat all animals as a potential hazard and expect the unexpected!

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