Motor vehicle accidents happen in a wide variety of ways. One common way experienced by many here in Mississippi involves hitting deer or other animals. According to a recent study by State Farm, nearly two million crashes each year involve animals. Moreover, Mississippi is eighth on the list of states where this is most likely to happen with a 1-in-59 chance.
No one will file a lawsuit against a deer for trying to cross the road, but drivers must remember the dangers of coming into contact with wildlife, farm animals and pets. Fall is a particularly active time of year for deer and other wildlife because of rutting season, hunting season and longer nights that make it hard to see animals until it is too late.
Deer the biggest issue
Deer pose the biggest danger to drivers on the road. It is due to the animals’ size and speed, leading to damage that can range from a dent to totaled vehicles with injured drivers and passengers. With this in mind, we thought it best to provide a few tips on how to avoid or minimize collisions with deer and other animals:
- Use high beams: These give drivers the best chance to see animals in the dark, and the blinding light may cause them to flee before getting hit.
- Stay alert: Deer crossing signs are there for a reason and be mindful of spots near woods and water.
- Do not swerve: It is better to hit the animal than lose control of the vehicle and cause injuries to others.
- Slow down or stop: This enables drivers to respond to any unexpected movements by the animal. Brake hard if no one is behind or tap the brakes if there is.
- Certain times are more dangerous: Nights, in general, are times when they feed, but they can be particularly active at dusk and dawn.
- Whistles do not work: No data confirms that car-mounted deer whistles keep deer away, as the manufacturers claim.
- Follow the rules: Occupants in a car or truck should fasten seatbelts, and drivers should follow all traffic laws.
Other drivers can cause an accident
Other drivers can cause severe injury or death to others when they try to avoid hitting a deer. Victims and their families may want to hold the reckless driver accountable by hiring a personal injury attorney who handles crashes. Depending upon the injury’s circumstances, the victim may be able to seek compensation for damages caused by another driver who did not drive defensively around animals.