National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show that 187 annual motorist fatalities in the United States result from collisions with large animals including deer.
If you live in a rural or suburban area, then you likely see an influx of deer out in the open seeking mates around late fall and early winter. Several months later beginning in May into early summer, you’re likely to adult deer once again as they venture out seeking food for their newborns.
Aside from deer being more prevalent at certain times of the year, they’re also known to venture out at night and nearby densely wooded areas. Deer rarely travel alone, but instead in packs.
In order to avoid a collision with a deer, traffic safety experts recommend that motorists drive slowly and always wear seat belts. Reducing your speed ensures that you’ll have the necessary time to stop if a large animal enters your car’s path. Wearing a seat belt will protect you from being ejected from your car if a deer or its antlers shatter your windshield.
Those who fail to take these precautions often suffer either the most significant injuries or die if involved in such a collision.
Road safety experts also caution motorists to always watch for green reflections from the eyes of static deer in the roadway. They also recommend that, if you notice an animal standing in the street, then you should flash your lights and honk your horn to get them to move.
Whenever possible, traffic safety experts recommend driving in the centermost lane to give yourself a buffer on either side just in case an animal enters the roadway as well.
These same experts recommend never swerving to avoid a deer standing in the middle of the road. This has the potential of confusing the deer as they look to get out of the way. It can also cause your car to run into a ditch, tree or other motorists traveling in the opposite direction. If any of these type events occurs, the likelihood that you’ll suffer serious injuries or even die is quite real.
If your loved one died after having struck a deer or by striking another car attempting to evade a collision with one themselves, then a Biloxi, Mississippi, wrongful death attorney can advise you of your rights and legal options.
Source: Geico, “Deer Safety: Tips For Avoiding A Collision,” accessed Dec. 28, 2017