Angry bull obliterates SUV! Here's how to avoid such confrontations in SA

Charlen Raymond
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 MIND THE HORNS! The family in this Nissan Terrano had the fright of their lives when a bull rammed their SUV. Image: YouTube ~ Youtube

Cape Town - This has to be one of the scariest things any family has to go through.

A bull decided to ram into a Nissan Terrano and literally lifted the SUV off the ground.

Enraged animal

The YouTube channel provides no information on what lead up to the confrontation between bull and machine, but it is no doubt scary and frightening. The bull rammed its horns into the right front of the SUV and in the process punctured the right tyre.

More damage occurred when the bull's horns pierced the engine bay and fluids ran from the vehicle.

The SUV's occupants remained seated throughout the ordeal and opted not to leave the safety(?) of their vehicle. Had they decided to make a run for it, chances are that the bull would've come after them and inflict serious damage. Or worse: kill them.

Tips for motorists

Arrive Alive says that there is no foolproof way to keep animals away from the roads. Hoofed mammals that stand high on their legs, such as cattle, horses and antelope like the kudu, pose the most danger to vehicle occupants. 

Arrive Alive editor Johan Jonck said: “With SA being such a prominent game viewing destination, we put quite a bit of research into compiling guidelines on how to drive when on safari and specifically in the nature reserve. It’s extremely important to remember that you as a game viewer are the outsider; you are in their (the animals) territory and you need to be respectful to nature and the animals in that domain.

WATCH: Hippo attacks bakkie: 16 tips for drivers to avoid animal attacks in SA

“As a first guide we need to "listen local" and inquire from the guides and rangers where it is safe to drive and where not to go. They will have first hand knowledge of trouble spots or dangerous animals."

Jonck adds that honking the vehicle's horn could just agitate the animal and advises motorists to avoid this action. If and when possible, drive away from the situation as quickly as possible.

HIPPO RAMS BAKKIE: Click on the above image to see this hippo ram into a Ford Ranger. Image: YouTube

Arrive Alive lists the following suggestions that could assist in protecting motorists:

  1. Take special care near animal crossing warning signs or signs warning of the absence of fences. The signs are there for a reason.

  2. Minimize your distractions from passengers, food, and accessories like cell phones. If your full attention is on the road, you'll be more likely to spot approaching animals with your peripheral vision. 

  3. Get in the habit of scanning the roadside as you drive. 

  4. Vigilance is the first and best defense, especially when driving on unfamiliar rural roads. Ask passengers to help by scanning both sides of the roadway.

  5. If you see one animal, expect that there are others nearby.

  6. Use your high beams whenever possible. They will give you more time to spot and react to animals in the road. 

  7. Always obey the speed limit and wear safety belts 

  8. To protect themselves, defensive drivers adapt their speed to conditions and keep alert for wildlife.

WATCH: Elephant destroys vehicle with tourist in Maputo Game Reserve

  9. Slowing down a little gives you and the animal more time to react – Be especially cautious at night 

  10. Be aware of your surroundings. 

  11. Be especially watchful in areas near woods and water 

  12. If you see a large animal near the road and think you have time to avoid hitting it, reduce your speed, tap your brakes to warn other drivers and sound your horn.

  13. If the animal is in your path, brake firmly but do not swerve to avoid it. Sound your horn in a series of short bursts to frighten it away. Provided you can slow down with control, steer around the animal but stay on the road if possible. Watch out for oncoming traffic.

  14. If a collision seems inevitable, don't swerve to avoid the animal; your risk of injury may be greater if you do. Maintain control of the vehicle. Report the accident to the police and your insurance company. 

  15. Always consider if the land along the road could host large animals, and if you think it could, anticipate that they might run out into the road. It's much easier to anticipate animal encounters and be ready to react calmly than to deal with the costly expenses, injuries, and guilty conscience of a collision.