Accidents involving deer cause 200 deaths annually and result in thousands of injuries. Vehicle damage costs exceed $2.6 billion and the average auto accident claim arising from a collision with a deer costs more than $3,000.
Car accident attorneys in Columbus, OH know that there were 20,996 deer strikes last year and that there has been an "unusual increase" in deer-related crashes according to an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper who spoke to WHIOTV. Motorists need to be aware of the serious dangers during the prime season for accidents involving these animals so drivers can do everything possible to stay safe and avoid collisions.
October is the Start of Deer Accident Season
A spokesman for the Ohio Insurance Institute told Bankrate that the highest risk of deer-related accidents occurs from October to January, which is the height of both mating and migration season for deer. While accidents can happen at any time, deer tend to be most active from 5:00 p.m. to midnight and from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. Unfortunately, these are the times when most people are commuting to work as well, so there are typically significant accidents risks through the autumn season.
While drivers cannot change their commute time to leave the roads free for deer migration, there are plenty of things that motorists can do to try to reduce the risk of a collision with a deer. Accident avoidance tips from AAA include:
- Scanning the road ahead and the shoulders of the road while driving in order to give you time to react if you spot a deer.
- Remembering that deer travel in packs, so if you see one, there are probably more nearby.
- Using high beams whenever there is no oncoming traffic, as high beams can both allow you to spot deer sooner and frighten deer away.
- Beeping to scare away deer that are in front of you on the road.
- Exercising extra caution and being especially vigilant at dawn and dusk.
- Avoiding driving in any situation where you are not sober, awake and alert.
Some deer accidents cannot be prevented because deer will essentially leap right into a vehicle. These types of crashes can be very dangerous not just for the motorists, but also for other drivers near the affected vehicle. During deer season, all drivers should be sure to avoid tailgating or speeding, as these behaviors can make it harder to stop or get out of the way of a swerving or impaired car that has collided with a deer. Many of the most serious collisions occur when a motorist swerves into oncoming traffic while attempting to avoid a deer.
Motorists should also be sure to wear seat belts at all times, and should know what to do in the event that they hit a deer. AAA advises drivers that if a collision with an animal is not avoidable, drivers should apply the breaks firmly and remain in their lane to avoid losing control of the vehicle and/or becoming involved in a more serious crash with other motorists.
If you or a loved one was hurt in an Ohio car crash, contact a car accident lawyer in Columbus, OH today the Smith Law office today. Call 800-930-SCOTT to schedule a free consultation.