With the colder weather and the changing of the leaves, fall has arrived. The scenery in North Carolina is magnificent and many people visit the area this time of the year. The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) has issued a warning to all motorists about the dangers of deer on or near the roadways during the fall months. Our North Carolina car accident attorneys have seen what happens when a vehicle collides with a deer or crashes trying to avoid striking one.
The NCDOT data reveals that there have been over 19,500 wildlife-related accidents in each of the last three years, with 90% of those involving deer. During those three years, nearly 3,500 people were injured in these accidents. There were 17 fatalities and a whopping $139.1 million in property damage to the vehicles involved.
Deer-related accidents occur throughout the year but are more prevalent during the last three months of the year, when mating season and hunting season is causing increased movement. Kevin Lacy, State Traffic Engineer, said that during these months deer can be seen in more densely populated areas than normal. He also says that it is better to go ahead and hit a deer if you cannot safely avoid it, rather than losing control and causing more serious injuries and damages to yourself and others. The most common time period for crashes is between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., when there is increased deer movement and decreased visibility makes them difficult to see on or near the roads.
From 2009 through 2011, there were over 61,000 wildlife-related accidents reported throughout the state. The counties reporting the most collisions were Wake (1,105), Duplin (646), Guilford (642), Pitt (623) and Johnston (535). Wake County has led all counties in wildlife-related accidents for the last 11 years.
Some warnings to motorists by the NCDOT are:
- Be extra cautious during the late afternoon and evening hours, especially in posted deer crossing areas;
- Most deer-related accidents happen near bridges, overpasses, railroad tracks, streams and ditches;
- Drive with high beam headlights on and watch for reflections from eyes;
- Since deer are prone to travel in groups, if you see one there are likely others nearby;
- If you see a deer, give your car horn one long blast to warn them;
- Never swerve to avoid a collision with a deer. This could result in loss of control, flipping the car or going into oncoming traffic, resulting in a far worse accident involving more serious injuries and property damage.
These warnings are also for the many who ride motorcycles on our North Carolina roadways. Hitting a deer while riding a motorcycle at highway speeds can result in devastating personal injuries or fatalities.
If you have been involved in a collision with someone attempting to avoid striking wildlife on our roadways, you need to talk to an experienced North Carolina car accident attorney.
Auger & Auger is a Charlotte based law firm that is experienced in handling serious personal injury cases. Our attorneys have almost 40 years of collective experience helping clients throughout the state and are highly respected by the judiciary and their peers.
For your convenience, we have five offices. Three are located in Charlotte and we have an office in Raleigh and Greensboro.
Contact us for a no obligation consultation. Our cases are handled on a contingency basis. You will never owe us a fee unless we recover for you.
NCDOT Reminds Motorists to Keep Alert for Deer During Fall Months, October 4, 2012
Related Blog Posts:
AAA Carolinas Study Reveals Safest and Most Dangerous Counties For Accidents, North Carolina Car Accident Attorney Blog, August 16, 2012
Caution! Curves Ahead, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer blog, September 28, 2012