What Does Kentucky Law Recommend You Do If You Hit an Animal with Your Vehicle?
One of the worst physical feelings, in my opinion, is hitting an animal. I've done it far more than I'd like to think about, in fact.
THE UNPLEASANTNESS OF HITTING AN ANIMAL
And I know it sounds grisly, but I have a mental list of the types of animals I've hit. It's grim, I know, but that list is there just the same.
A couple of years ago, on my way back home from Muhlenberg County, a dog ran out in front of me. I slammed on the brakes and felt my right front fender graze his rear end. As soon as I could turn around (not easy on that stretch of U.S. 431), I went back to check on it and couldn't find it anywhere. I decided to believe the pooch was okay. And it didn't really feel like a hard hit.
THE LAW REGARDING ANIMALS AND TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS
But I checked because I was of the belief that it might be against the law to ignore hitting a dog with your car. Actually, under most circumstances, it's not. Seriously. If you hit a dog, COMMON COURTESY dictates you try to find out if the dog has an owner and then find the owner. But there's no law that says you are required to do so.
I always thought there was, so I got in touch with my buddy, Kentucky State Trooper Corey King, and picked his brain about this hypothetical situation.
Trooper King said it is best to call someone if you hit a dog and wounded it but did not kill it. But in the tragic event that the latter DOES occur, no, you don't have to unless someone has been hurt or there is property damage. But that sort of thing probably wouldn't happen with a dog. King said that THAT is mostly common if someone hits a DEER.
And, again, if you hit a deer, all you really need to do is contact your insurance carrier and you don't even HAVE to do THAT. (Spoiler alert: I would.)
HOWEVER, UNDER A CERTAIN BIZARRE AND UNLIKELY CIRCUMSTANCE...
Now, Trooper King did mention a couple of unusual situations in which the authorities would need to be notified, but they really are UNUSUAL.
If by chance, a cow has wandered out onto the road and you hit it, your car is probably toast, for starters. King says in that crazy circumstance--also if you hit a horse, God forbid--you should call the state police, sheriff's office, or police department to let them know there is a massive animal wounded or dead on the highway. And the creatures' owners would need to be located and informed.
I really always thought there was a specific law in Kentucky regarding this sort of thing. But I was obviously wrong.
But, yeah, if I hit a cow, I'm calling someone.