In many of our posts we advise our readers to stay alert for hazards. We don’t simply make these statements to make abstract guidelines about safety, but to give our readers examples of how things can go haywire when drivers’ attention wanes.
A good example was found this week on Interstate 10 in Phoenix. A cow escaped from the trailer it was riding in and wandered across the interstate. Fortunately, the cow was not hit by any oncoming cars. Traffic was light because it was during the evening hours, and rush hour had long since passed. However, the hazard did slow traffic for miles before authorities were able to corral the animal.
Indeed, the likelihood of having to avoid a cow in the middle of the road is remote, but other animals, such as dogs, cats and even deer are likely to wander on to the road and become hazards to drivers. Moreover, when traffic suddenly stops in order to avoid these animals, unwitting drivers could end up being in rear-end accidents when inattentive drivers fail to stop.
Ultimately, drivers must use reasonable care while behind the wheel, and this means that they must limit distractions in order to be ready to react to hazards, whether they are animals in the road or suddenly stopped traffic. A driver who fails to use such care can be held liable, which means that an injured person could seek monetary damages for pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages and other expenses stemming from the crash.
If you have questions about your rights and options after an accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can help.