Hopefully, you never have the traumatic experience of hitting an animal with your vehicle.

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But if you do, this is what you should do.

If You Hit An Animal While Driving In Michigan Do You Legally Have To Pull Over?

In the state of Michigan, the answer is both YES and NO.

It really boils down to what kind of animal you hit.

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What To Do If You Hit A Deer

If you hit a deer in Michigan, you don't have to legally pull over, but you probably should. After hitting a deer, safely pull over to the side of the road and put on your hazards.

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Pascal-L-Marius/ThinkStock/GettyStock
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  • Take pictures
  • Any injuries to you or passengers in your vehicle
  • The location of the accident and how it happened
  • Any road hazards in the area
  • Get witness statements if you are able to do so

What To Do If You Hit A Dog

Even worse than hitting a deer or some other kind of wild animal is hitting a dog or cat.

While the situation is traumatic you need to stop and pull over otherwise you could face criminal charges.

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Failing to stop after hitting a domestic animal is prohibited by law in most states, including Michigan.

You could be charged with animal cruelty or failure to notify owners of property damage.

This is what the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) suggests to do after hitting a dog.

Stop your car

Pull over and put on your hazard lights. Only get out where it is safe to do so.

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Check on the animal

If the dog is still alive, call for assistance and wait until help arrives.

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Move the animal only if you can do so safely, and it's necessary to prevent further injury or possible accidents from cars swerving to avoid hitting it.

Use caution when moving the dog

A hurt and scared animal can become aggressive and lash out or bite.

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If possible, try to muzzle it with some type of fabric. You can use gloves and a blanket or jacket for protection as well.

If no owner is present, check the dog for tags

You can use the information on the tag to contact the owner.

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If there are people around, you can also ask if they recognize the dog and can identify the owner.

Call the police or animal control for assistance

They can make sure the dog is taken to a veterinarian where it can receive care.

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The vet can also scan for an identification microchip.

Hopefully, this never happens to you but if it does you now know what to do.

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