Driving risks include not only other vehicles and roadside obstacles, but also animals. Deer, in particular, are frequently involved in motor vehicle collisions or near misses.
The costs of deer collisions
For example, a recent Maryland accident resulting in a woman’s death reportedly occurred because of a collision with a deer. One vehicle hit a deer, which flew into the air and through the windshield of a second vehicle, striking the driver and causing a deadly head injury.
Although most deer accidents don’t unfold so dramatically, they can still lead to injuries and extensive property damage. In October 2012, Insurance Journal came out with an article discussing deer accident statistics. In the span of one year (July 2011 through June 2012), there were roughly 1.23 million deer-related collisions in the US. In terms of property damage, they amounted to a few billion dollars in costs.
Also, keep in mind that vehicles don’t need to actually collide with a deer to experience the serious consequences of an accident. A driver, for example, might swerve to avoid the deer. The vehicle might then cross into the path of oncoming traffic or collide with a roadside object, such as a tree or electrical pole.
Deer collision precautions
There are some precautions drivers can take to avoid a collision with a deer or to minimize its impact.
One precaution is to avoid the impulse to swerve. If possible, try to slow down as much as you safely can, even if it means hitting the deer. Swerving wildly will tend to endanger you and other people on the road to a significantly greater extent.
Ideally, you’ll obey all traffic laws, including driving slowly and keeping your headlights on after dark. Beyond that, you should slow down and drive even more cautiously on roads flanked by trees, shrubs or other objects that could obscure the presence of deer. Areas known to have many deer will also typically post signs warning drivers about deer presence.
After an accident involving a deer, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced Maryland personal injury attorney. You might be struggling with some of the costs of the accident. You might also wonder if, in combination with the deer, another driver’s behavior could have contributed to the accident. Your attorney will review your case in detail and offer you necessary legal assistance.
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