The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently reported that in 2008, car crashes occurring on rural roadways accounted for 56% of all traffic fatalities. This comes as a surprise to many, considering the fact that 77% of the U.S. population lives in urban areas.
North Carolina reported a total of 1,433 fatal car crashes in 2008. Sadly, 1,013 of these crashes were on North Carolina rural roadways. So almost three-quarters of all North Carolina car crashes occur on rural roadways.
In 2009, State Farm issued a report on the increase in deer causing auto accidents. This report states that vehicles on U.S. roadways had increased by 7% over the previous 5 years. As a result the number of deer-related automobile crashes increased by 17% during that same time frame.
There are many other reasons for rural traffic crashes, include narrow, poorly lit roads, speeding, drunk driving, and driver distraction. But the fall and winter months are a dangerous time for dealing with deer in the roadway.
From July 2007 through June 2009 there were 2.4 million crashes involving a vehicle and deer combination. That’s an occurrence rate of one every 26 seconds. The peak times for such incidents are the last three months of the year and in the early evening hours.
North Carolina had a 33% increase in auto and deer related crashes during this time period. The average cost for repair of property for one of these encounters is $3,050. The nation incurs 150 fatalities from these crashes per year as reported by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Some tips on how to reduce a deer related vehicle collision:
-Stay alert for deer crossing signs. These signs are typically put up in areas of heavy deer populations.
-Deer are out and about in the early evening hours (6 to 9 pm) so drive with caution during these hours of the day.
-Use your high beams as much as possible while traveling on rural roads with limited or no traffic.
-Assume that when you see one deer there are usually more to follow.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a deer collision or other traffic-related accident in Charlotte or surrounding areas, please contact The Law Offices of Lee & Smith for free legal advice at 800-887-1965. Serving all of North and South Carolina, including Albermarle, Asheboro, Asheville and Burlington.