Motorists who live and drive frequently in densely populated areas are being alerted by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to be on the lookout for deer dashing across your path. October is the height of running season for deer, which can lead to deadly car accidents in Winston-Salem and elsewhere throughout the state. In fact, there are roughly 20,000 animal-related car accidents in our state annually and 90 percent of those are caused by a deer.
We have all heard the expression ‘a deer in headlights’ but for most motorists this doesn’t usually end well because we can’t predict what movement a deer will make in front of us. Our Hickory car accident attorneys know that when a deer jumps in front of your car it is often unavoidable and multiple car collisions can result if a motorists are following too closely. A claim can be made against the insurance carrier, but the priority should be to get the injured the medical attention they need. It is better to reduce your speed and allow plenty of space in front of you rather than risk serious injury in a collision caused by an animal.
NCDOT recently released a report that looked at animal-related accidents over the last 3 years. There have been more than 19,500 accidents each of the last three years that were caused by animals. As a result, 17 deaths, 3,453 injuries, and almost $136 million in property damage have occurred from animal-related accidents since 2008. Deer activity typically increases during hunting and mating season. Prime time for deer-related collisions is during the fall and early winter months of October, November and December and during the hours of 5 p.m. to 7 a.m.
North Carolina reported 60,045 car accidents involving animals from 2008 to 2010. Wake County has reported the most crashes caused by an animal for the past 10 years. In 2010, Wake County reported 1,051 animal-related collisions, followed by Pitt County (713), Duplin County (646), Guilford County (635) and Randolph County (534) rounding out the rest of the Top 5 for accidents caused by animals.
Motorists that want to view a deer crash map for your area can click here to a view map provided by the Transportation Mobility and Safety Division. Select your county and view crash statistics by quarter, as well as, color coded pinpoints for crash locations throughout the county.
Motorists can reduce the risks of a deer-related crash if you use the following tips suggested by NCDOT:
- Increase the distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you during the months of October through December, especially at night, to avoid colliding into the back of a vehicle that needs to stop short of missing a deer in the roadway.
- If you spot a deer near or on the roadway, honk your horn to alert the deer with an audible sound.
- Avoid swerving to miss a deer in the road. Swerving often leads to a rollover accident or a head-on collision with another motorist which can cause serious or fatal injury in a crash.
- Locating a deer along the side of the road usually means there are more to follow. Expect deer to travel in groups to avoid a collision with a second or third deer in the pack.
- Use caution near or around bridges, overpasses, railroad tracks, ditches or streams as these are the most common paths used by deer and places that car accidents involving deer take place.
- If you see a deer crossing sign, slow down. Also reduce your speed in wooded areas or during dusk and nighttime hours.
- Drive with high beams to increase visibility whenever possible.
If you or a loved one is involved in a car accident in Greensboro, Statesville, Charlotte or the surrounding areas, contact the accident attorneys at the Lee Law Offices, P.A for experienced advice. Call 1-800-887-1965 for a free consultation today.
More Blog Entries:
Awareness and Simulation Could Reduce Future Distracted Driving Accidents in North Carolina, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, September 25, 2011.
Safe Behaviors, Among Other Things, Can Reduce Severity of Injuries Sustained in Asheville Car Accidents, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, September 22, 2011.