Spend a few months careering around Texas roads, and odds are you'll encounter an armadillo or two. These small, armored creatures look like something out of a science fiction story, or a throwback from prehistoric times. The truth is they are mammals, native to both North and South America, although only one species is found in the United States. They are also the only mammals that have protective armor.
So, what makes armadillos such a road hazard? Well, several things:
- Their hard plating can puncture tires and/or do tremendous physical damage to your vehicle.
- Many people are under the mistaken notion that armadillos are slow pokes. Actually, they can run pretty fast, around 30 miles per hour.
- The problem is, they don't often choose to put it in high gear, preferring instead to amble along-including when crossing the road.
- Armadillos can jump up in the air about three or four feet-straight up! Should they become startled on the road, this would put them above the hood of many cars. That can lead to disaster.
When you encounter an armadillo, you have three basic options:
- Stop suddenly. If you are the only car on the road, you may be able to get away with this tactic.
- Swerve to avoid hitting the animal. Again, this tactic must be executed with care, so you don't run into other vehicles or drive into a highway divider, ditch or some other hazard.
- Hit the animal. Ideally, you want to avoid crushing the creature-both for ethical reasons and for safety's sake. It's hard to predict the physics of such an encounter. For instance, the animal could bounce up into the undercarriage, slicing fuel lines and causing other mayhem to the car.
The best plan of action, of course, is to avoid armadillos when possible. Be vigilant when driving. Assess both the road and shoulder. If you see an animal in the distance, prepare by slowly decelerating or steering away. Whatever you do, though, don't sacrifice your own safety for the animal's.
Our McKinney, Texas car accident lawyer can help you obtain fair compensation after a serious crash. Please call 944.UNDERWOOD. 844.863 3796 to get the help you need.