Oh Deer! It's that time of year again

Oh Deer! It’s that Time of Year Again…

We’ve been seeing a lot of activity in the Carolinas with deer running into major thoroughfares. Deer collisions are sometimes overlooked in the media but they can be hazardous to an unsuspecting driver. The recent time change will have drivers on the roads later at night. Deer are on the move mostly at night when it's harder to spot them in the streets and on the highways.

According to the Charlotte Observer, over 17 fatalities and 3,453 injuries have been caused by deer collisions in North Carolina. October through December is mating season so take extra precaution on the roads.

“When faced with the possibility of a deer collision, don’t try to swerve as you could hit another vehicle, or possibly go off the road, hit a tree, or roll over. While nobody wants to hit a deer, it’s safer than some of the other outcomes,” according to Marcus Hayes of Crumley Roberts.

A little knowledge can prevent an accident or minimize damage if one occurs. Here are some tips*:

  • Always wear your seat belt. Most people injured in auto-deer crashes were not wearing seat belts.
  • Maintain a speed that allows enough time to react. "Overdriving" your headlights may mean coming upon something too fast to avoid it.
  • Drive defensively, scanning the roadside as you pass. Deer are in transit at dawn and at dusk, and may appear at roadways as late as midnight. In low-light situations, use your high beams when possible: They will reflect in a deer’s eyes, alerting you to potential danger.
  • Use caution on all rural roads, especially those sorts of areas. Once you identify a place where deer like to cross, remember to keep an eye out as you drive.
  • Take “Deer Crossing” signs seriously: They are clear indicators of frequent passage.
  • Where you see one deer, there are probably more. They travel in groups, so factor that expectation into your driving strategy.
  • Slow down immediately, but do not stop. Proceed slowly until you are past the point where the deer crossed. Female deer frequently travel in groups and more deer may be about to cross.
  • If the worst happens, come to a controlled stop. Minimize damage and injuries. If you hit a deer, apply the brakes, keep both hands on the wheel, and brake firmly and steadily.
  • Don’t touch an injured animal. Fear and pain can cause it to behave unpredictably, causing further injury to one or both of you.
  • Report any deer collision, even if your vehicle damage is minor. If you hit a deer, the law requires you to report the accident in the county or city where it occurred. A collision with an animal is normally covered under the comprehensive portion of your auto insurance policy.

* Source: Drivers' Comfort

Founded in 1989, Crumley Roberts, LLP, represents individuals with personal injury, workers' compensation and social security disability claims. The firm operates from 14 offices in North Carolina and South Carolina. To learn more about the firm, or its community relations activities, visit www.crumleyroberts.comor stay connected on Twitter, Facebookor LinkedIn.

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