In the Midwest, deer and vehicle collisions are a grim reality for all motorists. Severe injury and death are often the result when deer unexpectedly collide with automobiles. Mann, Wyatt & Tanksley has seen over the years how these accidents can change the lives of motorists in an instant.
Our auto accident attorneys want drivers to remember these safety precautions, which could mean the difference between life and death.
According to the National Highway Safety Administration, deer cause 1.5 million automobile accidents every year. Nearly 10,000 motorists are injured, while 200 lose their lives. There is also over $1 billion in vehicle damages caused by deer each year. The highest risk of deer accidents is in October, November, and December. However, in the Midwest it’s a year round problem.
“Most injuries and fatalities in deer accidents are caused by the driver swerving away from the deer,” Scott Mann says, auto accident attorney. “This causes their car to swing wildly into oncoming traffic, the road median, or veer off into a tree or ditch. A motorist needs to slow down as much as possible and keep their vehicle on a straight path even if it means hitting the deer.”
Adult male whitetail deer average 300 pounds, while females average 125. They are large animals that cause serious damage in a collision. Motorists need to be extremely cautious during dusk and dawn when deer are most active. If you are driving during these times (especially in areas surrounded by fields, water, or trees), then it’s best to decrease your speed and stay alert.
“If you see one deer there are usually others behind. This is your cue to slow down,” Mike Wyatt explains, auto accident attorney. “Use your bright lights, but don’t honk your car horn at a deer at the side of the road. This will cause the deer to run right into your vehicle. The most important safety measure is to wear your seatbelt, and pay attention to deer crossing signs.”