Attorney David J. King


What to do if an object is suddenly in the path of your vehicle

On Behalf of | Oct 5, 2021 | Car Accidents

Most drivers in South Dakota know what to do in various adverse situations. They know how to drive safely in snow, heavy rain, fog and on icy pavement. They know how to outsmart a tailgater or a motorist exhibiting signs of road rage. They know how to protect themselves from drivers who pose a threat because they operate their cars erratically.

But there is one type of hazard that drivers, even highly experienced ones, might not quite know how to cope with. That’s when an object, particularly a sizable one, suddenly appears in a vehicle’s path.

It may require more than quick thinking to extricate yourself from circumstances like these. Knowing how to react could save you and your passengers from an accident that results in serious harm.

All kinds of obstacles can show up in your travel lane with no warning. Maybe it’s a frightened deer, a child chasing after a ball or cargo that came loose and fell off a truck’s flatbed and landed directly in front of you. 

Staying safe when something unanticipated crashes into your vehicle

Whatever the nature of the obstacle, learn some tips that indicate what you should do.

  • Something airborne could pose a danger by hitting and breaking your windshield. Try to dodge it if at all possible. 
  • When something not too large is lying in the middle of the street, you may want to straddle it and drive over it. 
  • If there is a large animal up ahead, decrease your speed. Applying your brakes abruptly could result in a rear-end collision or cause you to skid. Make sure you have a good grasp of the steering wheel before the expected collision.

If you do barrel into something that was unavoidable while you were driving, such as an item that fell from a truck because it was not fastened down appropriately, you may be able to take action. See whether the other driver can be held accountable for any injuries or damage you incur.