On the Road

Wild Boar, other wild animals, and Traffic

As with all wild animals in the UK wild boar, from time to time, cross busy roads. There are certain times of the year when accidents are most likely; a couple examples are:

  • Shorter days when rush hour falls during the hours of darkness.
  • In terms of wild boar, Springtime when piglets still to learn road sense start emerging from the nest and exploring further afield. This will change per species based on when they have young,

While it is very unlikely you will hit a wild animal with your car/motorbike/lorry etc., it can, and does, happen. Section 170 of the Road Traffic Act 1980 (https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/52/section/170) states there is a duty to report an accident and that a driver must stop when involved in an accident by which ‘damage is caused to an animal other than an animal in or on that vehicle’.

We have put together some guidelines, which relate to all wild animals, to help you minimise the risk of hitting an animal on the road and if the worst happens you are not in any further danger.

To help avoid wild animals on the road:

  • Use full beam on dark roads if there is no oncoming traffic.
  • If you spot an animal early enough revert back to dipped headlights to help avoid startling the animal which may then freeze directly in your path.
  • Adjust your speed accordingly if you are in an area with increased wild animal populations. These are usually indicated by red warning signs being installed in such locations where animals regularly cross, but don’t rely on this, as wild animals have a habit of crossing randomly.
  • Regularly check your vehicle’s brakes and tyre treads to make sure you have optimum stopping distances
  • Try not to swerve erratically if you see an animal on the road. You could end up in the path of oncoming traffic.
  • Only brake hard if there is no risk to drivers behind, try to maintain full control of your car whether you avoid the animal or sadly make contact.

If you do hit an animal on the road:

  • Stop your car immediately and put hazard lights on; use warning triangles if you have them and safe to do so.
  • If you see one animal cross the road there is a real chance more will follow, very often the case with deer and wild boar. 
  • Call 999, especially if there is a danger to other road users and ask for the Police. They can arrange an emergency wildlife rescuer to attend or if the animal is severely injured they will call a licenced wildlife ranger to dispatch the animal humanely.
  • Do NOT approach the animal. Injured animals will be in pain, scared and even more unpredictable. They could turn aggressive towards you despite your best intentions and even worse they may try to move away and end up in the path of another vehicle. The Police will arrange the best course of action in the form of either an experienced wildlife rescuer or licenced ranger.
  • Before driving off check your car for damage to steering, brakes, tyres etc. If in any doubt call for recovery as driving with a damaged car may void your insurance

These are only guidelines, based on our local knowledge, you need to adjust your driving accordingly to the area and roads you travel and hopefully you will never need this information.


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 Your support and contributions will enable us to carry on helping wild boar and see them secure their spot back in the wilds of the UK.