Unfortunately for motorists in Louisiana, whether you drive the country roads of Vermilion, St Mary, and Winn Parishes or the more urbanized thoroughfares of Baton Rouge, Shreveport, Lafayette, or New Orleans, there are going to be crashes.  Some people call them "accidents" but to law enforcement they are crashes.

Facebook via Louisiana State Police
Facebook via Louisiana State Police
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The reason for the discrepancy in verbiage is this "traffic crashes are fixable problems caused by dangerous streets and unsafe drivers, they are not accidents". The word "accident" gives the implication that the crash was "not preventable" which in most cases it was.

So, now that we've cleared that bit of legal-speak up, let's move on to another conundrum that many drivers in Louisiana will face at some time during their driving career. That would be encountering "wildlife" on a roadway. No one wants to hit an animal with their vehicle. If you do, you need help from a licensed counselor and you need to get that help today.

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Thinkstock
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Encountering an animal, especially a domesticated dog or cat, in the roadway can be a very difficult and dangerous decision for any driver. Quite often you have to react quickly and the reaction you choose could be a matter of life or death not only for the animal but for you and your passengers.

Auto experts suggest that you honk your horn at the animal and do your best to slow down to at least minimize the collision. Experts say changing lanes to avoid the animal is not advised. It could put you in harm's way in regards to oncoming traffic, it could also cause you to lose control of your vehicle by swerving.

Rutting Season In The Deer Park At Dunham Massey
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If A Driver Attempting to Avoid Wildlife on the Road Is Hit From Behind Who is At Fault?

In almost every case where a rear-end collision is involved in Louisiana, the driver who rear-ended the car in front is usually at fault. There are some exceptions. But the driver who rear-ended the other motorists will have to show proof that they were following at a safe distance, they were watching the roadway, and they had proper control of their vehicle.

In order to do that you'd almost need to have a dash-cam in your vehicle. This isn't a bad idea since almost any crash involving a rear-end collision puts the "fault" on the backside driver, many scammers will use the law to their advantage.

Such was the case in a recent scenario where a Louisiana driver had another vehicle reverse into him on purpose. We can only assume it was for insurance money. Fortunately, the dashcam provided officers with the proof they needed to charge the scammer.

Judge gavel, scales of justice and law books in court
BrianAJackson
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In conclusion, the law is pretty clear. If you hit someone from behind, no matter what the reason, you're probably going to be at fault. And if you stop your car on a busy roadway to save an animal there is a considerable amount of risk that you are taking as well.

Make sure you're totally aware of your surroundings before you make the choice to render aid. And be sure you're watching the road in case a Good Samaritan decides to help out another creature along life's path or four-lane highway.

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Gallery Credit: Bruce Mikells

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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