What Do I Do If I Hit an Animal with My Rental Car?

In the late fall to early winter months, accidents involving animals become more common. Any type of vehicle-related accident is scary, but hitting an animal can be a nightmarish experience. You don’t have to be an animal lover to be horrified about the idea of hitting an animal on the road. However, accidents do happen and, at Value Van & Car Rental, we believe it is best to always be prepared. That is why we are discussing what you should do if you hit an animal in your rental car.

What To Do If You Hit an Animal with a Rental Car

Take Extra Precautions

You should always be safe on the road; however, if you’re driving a rental car, you should take extra precautions. Drive the speed limit, be aware of road and weather conditions, and take time to observe your surroundings. You should also always pay attention to road signs – such as deer warning signs – so you will have a heads-up if you’re driving in an area where it’s common for animals to cross the road. Finally, wild animals often move in groups, so if you spot one, slow down and watch for others to follow.

If You Hit an Animal

Even if you are driving carefully at an appropriate speed, animals are unpredictable. If you do collide with one, stop and stay at the scene. Check to make sure everyone is okay and make sure the incident isn’t causing danger to others on the road. Call 911 if medical help is needed, and notify the police if the animal is still in the road causing a safety hazard. The police will help bring the right authorities to potentially save the animal or dispose of it.

File an Insurance Claim

Next, check the rental car for any damages, including body damage, lights, or loose parts. Also, take some photos of the road and even the animal, since it can be useful to give context when filing an insurance claim. If you purchased the rental car company’s collision damage waiver, you’re likely covered for the costs to repair or replace the vehicle – unless the accident was due to reckless driving or another breach of your rental agreement. Contact us or check our policies page for more information on insurance.

Car accidents involving animals are common, and being proactive is the best way to deal with them or avoid them altogether. When traveling to Newark, Union, Jersey City, and the surrounding areas, contact Value Van & Car Rental at (973) 792-0343 for all of your car rental needs or reserve online anytime.