Highways England data shows dangers of animals on roads in West Berkshire and beyond
A leading motoring association has warned of the risks posed by animals on English motorways and A roads, with over 600 incident reported last year.
Data obtained by MotorEasy, from Highways England, shows that, in 2020, there were 507 incidents as a result of encounters with animals on motorways, and 94 on A roads.
In 2019, the figure was even higher, with 638 incidents on motorways and 107 on A roads.
MotorEasy spokesperson, Duncan McClure, Fisher warns that, contrary to popular assumptions, swerving to avoid creatures in the road can cause more harm than good.
He said: "Most motorists know hazards come in different shapes and sizes and they can appear when we least expect it.
"Britain’s motorway network covers around 2,300 miles and there are 29,500 miles of A roads.
"So it’s no surprise that animals will occasionally wander from nearby green spaces into the danger zone.
"While none of us want to cause harm or suffering to one of nature’s creatures, it’s important for drivers to be aware that taking evasive action could put yourself or other motorists in danger.
"If you slam your brakes or swerve to avoid hitting an animal and end up damaging another vehicle instead, you could be held liable by insurers.
"It’s important to stay alert at all times when driving on motorways, keep an appropriate distance from vehicles in front and remember a hazard can strike when you least expect it."
It is illegal to hit many larger animals - including horses, cattle, pigs, goats, donkeys, dogs and sheep - without making a report to the authorities.
While collisions with smaller creatures, such as squirrels and badgers, do not have to be reported, the RSPCA invites calls in situations where an animal could be saved.
Further information on this can be found on the RSPCA's website.