What should I do if I come across an animal on the road?
It is essential that you consider your own safety and that of other road users. Never put yourself at risk of accident or injury.
Most animals will steer clear of busy roads, but high-traffic areas can pose a deadly threat to Scotland’s wildlife. What you can do to help will depend on the circumstances. Always consider your own safety when helping an animal on the road.
If you come across an animal on a quiet, country road, give them plenty of space. They will usually move without any intervention. Never try to scare an animal off the road. Wild animals can be unpredictable and startling them can put you and the animal at risk.
What should I do if I come across a live animal on a busy/high-speed road?
If you come across a live animal on the road, exercise precaution in line with the highway code. Pull over when it is safe to do so and contact Police Scotland on 101 to ask for assistance from traffic control. Our officers are happy to assist Police Scotland where possible. Other organisations offering road maintenance services, such as BEAR Scotland and Amey, may also be able to help.
If you can see the animal is injured, pull over when it is safe to do so and call our helpline on 03000 999 999.
What should I do if I come across a dead animal on the road?
You can report dead animals found in public places to the local council. They will arrange to collect the carcass and dispose of it safely.
If the carcass is a hazard to road users, use precaution and contact 101 to request traffic control when it is safe to do so.
There’s an animal near a road and it looks like it’s going to run into traffic – what should I do?
Stay alert and exercise caution.
If you are travelling on foot, stay well back to avoid startling the animal into running onto the road.
If there are fields or wooded areas nearby, most animals will make their way to safety but if not, call Police Scotland on 101 for traffic control. We are happy to assist Police Scotland where necessary.
What can I do to prevent an accident?
Animals can be unpredictable, so if you see animal warning signs or are travelling through areas with a high wildlife population such as fields or woodlands, check your speed and stay alert.
When driving in the dark, use your full-beam headlights when you can as they will illuminate animals’ eyes.
If you see a deer, dip your headlights to avoid startling them and drive carefully. Deer often travel in groups so look out for more nearby.
Try not to swerve suddenly or brake sharply as hitting oncoming traffic would likely lead to a more serious collision.
If you come across an animal in a built-up area, monitor from a safe distance and call our helpline on 03000 999 999.