One of the biggest safety concerns for motorists in the Midwest involve deer-vehicle collisions. These accidents can cause severe injury and even death for the vehicle’s occupants. The auto accident attorneys of Mann, Wyatt & Tanksley have seen firsthand how these terrible accidents affect the lives of victims. Drivers must take necessary safety precautions to better protect themselves from deer and vehicle collisions.
Every year there are 1.5 million automobile accidents caused by deer (National Highway Safety Administration). These accidents result in $1 billion in vehicle damages, 10,000 injuries, and nearly 200 fatalities. October, November, and December are the months at the highest risk for deer accidents. However, it’s a year round problem in the Midwest.
“Most injuries and fatalities in deer accidents are caused by the driver swerving away from the deer,” Scott Mann explains, 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.”
Whitetail deer are large animals. Females average 125 pounds, while male deer average 300 pounds. They cause serious damage if they run into your car. Dawn and dusk are the most active times for deer. Motorists driving at this time should decrease their speed. This is especially important when driving in wooded areas or near fields and lakes.
“If you see one deer there are usually others behind. This is your cue to slow down,” says Mike Wyatt, 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.”