There has been a growing trend of damage to company cars caused by collisions with wildlife with bills running into tens of thousands of pounds.
During 2007, animal damage cost Masterlease customers almost £100,000 after vehicles were in collision with a variety of creatures – from badgers, cattle, deer and pheasants to pet dogs and cats.
According to ProAct, Masterlease’s risk management software, the most common collision was with deer, accounting for 28% of animal collisions.
Pheasants caused 21% of accidents and badgers, 9%.
But the most dramatic incidents involved cattle which caused an average of £1,100 worth of damage to each car, as well as obvious distress to the animals, the farmers and drivers.
Now Masterlease has issued advice to fleet managers about what to do in such cases.
The advice is linked to the Highway Code Rule 286 and section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and even provides paintwork tips for motorists hit by the guano from incontinent birds!
The advice includes:
- If drivers are involved in a collision which causes damage or injury to any person, vehicle or animal, he or she must immediately stop
- They must provide contact details of the incident, or in the case of a collision with an animal report the matter as soon as is reasonably practical within 24 hours
- Keep within the speed limit on country lanes and observe animal danger signs
- Be extra vigilant early in the morning and at dusk as this is the time animals are more migratory – it is also the time when drivers tend to speed up if there in no traffic on the roads!
- Traffic signs in country areas now have reflector posts which warn animals of danger as they imitate predator red eye reflection
- Clean bird guano off paintwork immediately as it can damage the vehicle and impact on the residual value of company vehicles. An average cost of damaged paintwork is £329.