Insurance claims data suggests that there has been a sharp increase in drivers colliding with wildlife compared to pre-pandemic records, which could be the result of more people staying on holiday in Britain.
The number of animals hit by vehicles between June and August this year increased 54 percent compared to the same months in 2019, according to the Zurich insurer.
It says the average cost of repairing a car after an insurance claim for damage caused by striking an animal is £ 2,400, although it has also resulted in the vehicles being canceled entirely.
Has an increase in stays caused an increase in wildlife deaths? Zurich says auto insurance claims for vehicle damage caused by animals increased in 2021, and deer are highly likely to be affected
According to data from Zurich, vehicle accidents involving animals plummeted by a quarter (25 percent) in 2020, and the roadblocks led to a massive decline in traffic levels across the country.
However, as restrictions were relaxed and almost completely lifted in the summer, incidents between January and September increased by 38% compared to the same period in 2020 and by 11% in 2019.
Phil Ost, Zurich’s head of personal lines, said the decline in overseas travel has had a “knock-on shock” for Britain’s wildlife.
“With more of us vacationing homeland and a higher volume of traffic on the roads, the risk of hitting an animal has increased,” he explained.
‘The summer saw a significant increase in dead or injured animals as more tourists ventured into rural areas and other beautiful places.
The animals may have also become accustomed to quieter roads during the closure, contributing to the increase.
Wildlife more likely to be hit by vehicles on UK roads
1. Deer: 61% of claims
2. Pheasants – 11%
3. Badgers – 8%
Four. Birds – 7%
5. Foxes – 5%
Other animals (including rabbits, horses and dogs) – 8%
“ Animal collisions are now exceeding pre-pandemic levels and, with constant uncertainty about travel abroad, this could be a trend that we see will continue next year. ”
Based on accidents that result in insurance claims alone, Zurich estimates that 88 animals a day are run over by vehicles on the roads of Britain, which is equivalent to almost 32,000 each year. Although the actual number is likely to be considerably higher.
Zurich estimates that the insurance industry pays £ 63.8 million a year to help clients repair vehicle damage caused by animal accidents.
The average cost of damages is £ 2,400, with claims ranging from small dents and cracked windshields, to full vehicle write-offs.
Insurance claim figures show that motorists are at higher risk of hitting a deer, accounting for 61 percent of collision claims.
It is followed by pheasants (11 percent), badgers (8 percent), birds (7 percent) and foxes (5 percent).
Other animals (8 percent) responsible for the claims include rabbits, horses, and dogs.
Pheasants account for 11% of wildlife accident damage claims made by drivers in 2021, the insurer says.
According to data from Zurich, the highest number of animal victims on the roads is recorded in October.
Ost added: ‘October and November can be particularly dangerous for deer, who are more likely to drift onto roads during these months, and this in turn creates more risk for humans.
Be especially careful when driving near wooded areas, especially at dawn and dusk when deer are most active. Watch for roadside warning signs that animals are nearby and, when safe to do so, use full headlights at night to increase visibility on the road. ‘
What should motorists do if they collide with an animal on the road?
• According to the Road Traffic Law, motorists involved in accidents with a dog or a farm animal must report it to the police.
• If you hit a large animal, such as a deer, and it is blocking the road, report it to the police.
• Call the RSPCA 24-hour emergency line (0300 1234 999) if the animal is injured. Be careful when approaching an injured animal, as it could scratch or bite
• If your car is damaged, record the evidence, find details of any witnesses, and report it to your insurer.
It also sent out a specific warning to electric vehicle drivers to take more precautions, as the lack of engine noise is likely giving animals less time to react when approaching.
And the insurer noted that animal collisions are a danger to both humans and wildlife.
According to the British Deer Society, “several people” are killed on the roads each year after running over a deer.
Zurich has even made free advice available to motorists involved in collisions with animals.
Under its claims endorsement, clients and their immediate family members over the age of 18 can access five free counseling sessions with a qualified mental health specialist.
The service is available on all claims filed by Zurich clients, from theft victims to floods.
Ost said: ‘Being involved in a collision with an animal, especially larger ones, can be a traumatic experience and also lead to serious injuries for motorists and their passengers.
“Our free advice service is available to anyone who wants additional support.”
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