Saturday, October 03, 2009


Accidents happen frequently, and they always bring consequences. Yesterday, my daughter was driving my car at night along a narrow lane, when all of a sudden a dog dashed out from a driveway in front of the car causing an inevitable collision. Fortunately, there were no other vehicles in the vicinity that may have become involved. The owner of the dog had inadvertently left the gate to her driveway open. On seeing what had happened she apologised for allowing her pet to stray on the road. From all accounts she was more concerned for damage caused to the bumper of the car than injuries sustained to her pet. She admitted liability and stated that she would pay for the repairs. At that point her partner arrived home and made the bumper secure by using plastic ties.

I am now left with the chores of obtaining quotes for the repair, taking the car to the place where it will be mended, being without the use of the car while the damage is being put right, and collecting the car after the work has been carried out. Meanwhile the dog will suffer during the healing process.

As far as I can ascertain by searching the Internet, the same rules apply to pets as for farm animals that stray on a public highway. Their owners are liable for the payment of compensation – that’s if there’s injury to persons, damage to vehicles, private property or roadside appurtenances, such as bollards, traffic lights and signs. If a vehicle collides with a horse, cow, bull, ass, mule, sheep, pig, or dog, the driver of the vehicle must report it to the owner of the animal, or if that cannot be done, he must report the accident to the Police within 24 hours. It is advisable for the car owner to report the accident to his vehicle insurer with notification that he will or will not make a claim.

The full consequences of my daughter’s accident are not yet fully revealed, but in time they will be largely known by the parties involved and they are already ‘fully’ known by an omniscient God. (Psalm 33:13; 147:5; Acts 15:18)

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