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Motorists urged to share the roads with four-legged friends

Research by AA shows that more than 40 per cent of drivers have hit an animal…but which are the most common?

83 people surveyed said they had hit a cow while driving
83 people surveyed said they had hit a cow while driving

IRISH DRIVERS ARE being reminded to keep their eyes peeled for four-legged pedestrians on the roads, after research revealed that more than 40 per cent of motorists have run over an animal.

AA Motor Insurance has identified that of the 41.3 per cent of drivers who have struck an animal, 45.5 per cent have hit man’s best friend, a dog. Another pet – cats – were the next most likely animal to be knocked down, while rabbits, foxes, badgers, ducks, squirrels, deer and even snakes have all been involved in collisions with cars.

AA is warning that a collision with a larger animal can lead to a huge amount of damage when travelling at high speed. Serious injury and even fatalities can occur if driver hits the likes of a horse or a deer. One AA member reported €4,000 of damage after hitting a deer, while others have faced €500 repairs after hitting a badger.

Here’s a guide to what to watch out for on your travels…

Motorists urged to share the roads with four-legged friends
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  • Four-legged pedestrians

    Of the drivers who said they'd hit an animal, 45.5 per cent said they'd hit a dogSource: Bart Everson via Flickr via http://www.flickr.com/photos/editor/1216482617/
  • Four-legged pedestrians

  • Four-legged pedestrians

    After domestic pets, rabbits were most likely to be hit by a car, with 33.4 per cent of motorists saying they'd hit a rabbitSource: Robobobobo via Flickr
  • Four-legged pedestrians

    10.3 per cent of motorists said they had struck a foxSource: Digitalprimate via Flickr
  • Four-legged pedestrians

    Reclusive badgers made up 10.1 per cent of the animals hit on the roadSource: Chris. P via Flickr
  • Four-legged pedestrians

    No jokes about going to see their 'flat mates' please. Hedgehogs accounted for 7.9 per cent of strikes by motorists Source: Jens Ayton via Flickr
  • Four-legged pedestrians

    This squirrel might be having second thoughts about stepping onto the road, but 2.9 per cent of his peers were hit by Irish motorists Source: Rob Pongsajapan via Flickr
  • Four-legged pedestrians

    127 people polled said they had hit sheep while driving Source: Monika via Flickr
  • Four-legged pedestrians

    118 motorists say they have struck a deer while driving Source: Mark Gallagher via Flickr
  • Four-legged pedestrians

    1.7 per cent of motorists said they had hit a cowSource: Ian Mannion via Flickr
  • Two-legged pedestrians

    Ducks account for 1.3 per cent of strikes by motoristsSource: Charles Haynes via Flickr
  • No-legged pedestrians

    1.2 per cent of Irish motorists claim to have run over a snake! Source: Charles Haynes via Flickr
  • Four-legged pedestrians

    34 motorists said they had struck a horse while driving Source: Anemoneprojectors via Flickr
  • Four-legged pedestrians

    15 donkeys have been struck by Irish drivers surveyed by AASource: Bagsgroove via Flickr

About the author:

Emer McLysaght

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