Collision and Dashcam analysis of Crash into cow at Night

Driving at night is significantly more dangerous that doing so during the day. Not only is visibility reduced but drivers have to share the roads with speedsters, drunk and fatigued drivers and often encounter animals crossing the roads in darkness.

On the Arrive Alive website we find more information and advice on these aspects in the following sections:

These dangers are best illustrated through analysis and video footage from such a recent crash. FleetCam has made available analysis of such a crash:

Video of Truck Crashing Into Cow


FleetCam video data has been retrieved from the Below vehicle with particular reference to events that relate to the time of the accident.

A) Accident Basic Information:

  • Vehicle Make: 
  • Registration No: N/A
  • Date of Accident: 26 May 2015
  • Time of Accident (Impact): 22h:32m:44s (Night time)

B) Accident Location:

  • Road Name/Number: R519, Polokwane
  • GPS Co-ordinates: S 24° 8' 45.493'' E 29° 20' 23.76''
  • Road Type: Rural
  • Road Surface: Tar
  • Road Signs: Exist.
  • Weather Conditions: Clear ( Night )
  • Point of Impact:

Map View at Accident Location

Road View at Accident location

Satellite View of the Accident location

C) Camera Video Recordings

1. Camera 1: Road Ahead (Drivers View)

Truck crashing into cow at Night

  1. Video Clip Starts 22h:31m:47sec & Ends 22h:33m:13sec. Duration of Video Clip 1Min26 sec
  2. Video reveals vehicle colliding with a Cow
  3. Three Seconds before actual impact, it appears that the driver did not notice the cow.
  4. The cow was positioned in the centre of the road.

2. Camera 2: In Cab (Focused on Driver)

Onboard camera of truck crashing into cow

  1. Video Clip Starts 22h:31m:47sec & Ends 22h:33m:13sec. Duration of Video Clip 1Min26 sec.
  2. Video reveals driver appears to be distracted and never notices the cow in time to react
  3. The driver seems to have been distracted with what appears to be cold drink/water whilst looking for a place to put it down after drinking from it, at 22h:32m:33sec he notices the cow and impacts the cow one second later.

D) Vehicle Speed

The vehicle was travelling at 46km/h at the start of the clip,

Reaching a max speed of 93km/h during the trip

The actual speed at impact was 87km/h.


The above videos reveal why it is so important to remain alert and to drive at a speed that allows time and space to respond to emergencies. This becomes even more important in rural areas with limited lighting available as well as an unpredictability of pedestrians and animals crossing the road.

In recent research by the Endangered Wildlife Trust there were interesting findings with regards to roadkill in our parks:

"From our survey, it seems that observation levels of the driver, rather than the speed of the vehicle, is the key factor in the number of roadkill incidents,” Wendy Collinson from the Endangered Wildlife Trust commented.

We will continue to create more awareness of the need for driver alertness and driving defensively.

[A word of Appreciation to Tristan Rousseau from FleetCam for the assistance received] / / Tel:           012 072 0503 Email: ]

Also view:

Safe Driving at Night

Avoiding Animals on the Road

Dashboard Camera and Road Safety

Vehicle Crash Reports using Telematics and On-Board Video Cameras

Fleet Management. Logistics and Road Safety

Vehicle Telematics, Accident Investigation and Fleet Management

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