The North Carolina Department of Transportation advises that the month of October is the most common for car versus deer collisions in the state. We may be far removed from October, but spring is well upon us and animals are getting, well…frisky.
Deer are not the only animals that seem to appear out of nowhere and directly in the path of our vehicles. Other forms of wildlife are as happy about the warm weather as we humans are, and they are out in mass numbers. Knowing how to avoid a collision with a deer or other animal can not only save damage to your vehicle, but it can save your life.
Follow these tips to minimize your chances of meeting an animal in the road head on:
Know where animals are common. Understand that you are more likely to see wildlife in heavily wooded areas, near bridges, overpasses, railroad tracks, and bodies of water, no matter how small.
Watch for the signs. Literally. Watch for the signs. The NCDT posts warning signs in areas where animal populations are high or accidents are frequent.
Look out for groups. Deer, specifically, rarely travel alone. If you see one deer, quickly scan your surroundings for others. Where there is one, there are typically many. Other animals like raccoons and opossums tend to travel solo.
Scan your surroundings. Don’t get so caught up in driving or so out of focus that you only stare straight ahead. Use your peripheral vision to scan your environment for wildlife.
Make use of your headlights. Turn your headlights on earlier than you think you need to and keep them on longer than you think is necessary. Headlights can reflect in animals’ eyes helping you to see them sooner.
Be cautious in low light. You are more apt to have an encounter with a deer or group of them during dawn and dusk. This is when the animals are most active.
Follow the laws of the road. Stay within the posted speed limit, avoid tailgating, and drive responsibly. When you do these things, you are less likely to hit the person in front of you who is unlucky enough to collide with a deer.
Don’t try to miss the animal. It is unfortunate, but sometimes an animal being injured is better than a human being injured or killed. It is ultimately safer to strike the animal than swerve to avoid hitting it.
Not all accidents with wildlife can be avoided, but you can reduce your chances of running into one. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, contact our compassionate attorneys for assistance today.