October, November and December are prime months for deer-automobile collisions — primarily because those months are typically when deer begin to migrate. However, you should be aware that deer-automobile accidents are on the rise in general due to the increased deer population in the country.
These accidents can range from being simply annoying (i.e., makes you late or you have to get your lights or your bumper fixed) to being extremely painful and difficult to deal with (i.e., your car is totaled and/or you or your passengers were injured).
Deer are everywhere and drivers on any road (even highways) have to be careful, especially throughout the fall when it gets darker earlier and the cold weather drives deer to seek food and water from unlikely sources.
According to a State Farm survey, Colorado doesn’t make the list of top 10 states with deer-automobile accident rates, but drivers should still be aware of their surroundings, even if the likelihood that they might hit a deer on the state’s roads is 1 in 304. That one accident could cost you a lot financially in repairs and medical bills, as well as personally in injuries or loss.
To avoid hitting deer this winter, drivers should take the following tips under advisement:
- Deer are the most active between sunset and midnight, as well as right before the sun comes up. These are also times where visibility is a little poorer because it’s darker and foggier, and drivers have a hard time seeing far distances or through the shadows on the side of the road. Be extra cautious around these times, and check for deer in your area.
- Slow down whenever you see a section of road marked with a deer crossing sign and look around you as much as possible while still driving safely.
- If you see one deer, it’s likely that there are others nearby. They move in groups and usually cross the roads together.
- If a deer freezes in front of your car in the headlights, honk your horn.
- Use high beams for better visibility if you’re the only car on the road.
- If a deer is directly in your path and you cannot avoid it, hit the brakes and stay in your lane to keep the danger to a minimum. Don’t swerve into other lanes to put other vehicles in jeopardy.
- If you hit a deer, don’t touch it. You may injure yourself or the animal further.
- If you hit a deer (or the deer charges your vehicle), contact the police in your area. Take pictures of the accident so you can use them in your insurance claim.
- Always wear your seatbelt.
Obviously, there are times when a collision is unavoidable. You may not see a deer crossing the road in the rain and snow, or you may be unable to stop in time. The deer may charge your vehicle and hit you. Any way it happens, a deer-car collision can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $3,500 in repairs to your car, and that does not include how much it may cost to treat any injuries you sustained, especially if you were tossed around on impact.
For more information regarding car accidents and injuries, contact a Denver injury lawyer at the Levine Law Firm today.