In 2012, there were at least 3,362 auto accidents involving deer in the state of Pennsylvania. In these accidents, eight people lost their lives. Phillyburbs.com indicates that things may be getting even worse as the number of claims made arising from deer accidents increased by 10.6 percent between 2010 and 2012. Chester County is the most dangerous in a five-county area when it comes to deer crashes and Bucks County is the second highest risk area.
Car accident lawyers in Bucks County know these estimates may actually not tell the whole story either, as experts believe there were likely many more deer crashes than were reported. While deer accidents can happen any time, the most dangerous season and the prime time for accidents is from October through December when deer are both migrating and mating. Since deer season has now begun this year, now is the time to be extra careful and to take some added safety precautions to try to avoid becoming an accident victim.
Avoid Deer Accidents During the Dangerous Season
Some tips to help avoid accidents include:
- Understanding when deer are most likely to be out. Deer are most active at dawn and dusk, so the highest-risk times are from 5:00-8:00 p.m. as well as 5:00-8:00 a.m. Unfortunately, this may be right during your commute, so you should be extra careful to watch for signs of deer and check the road ahead.
- Remaining active and alert. You should be scanning the shoulder of the road frequently and should make sure you aren’t driving while drowsy, distracted or impaired in any way. If you look away for just a second, that could be the time when the deer jumps out in front of your vehicle.
- Using your high beams if there’s no oncoming traffic. If a deer freezes in your high beams and is blocking the road, hold your horn down for a prolonged period until the deer moves.
- Staying in your lane and braking if you are approaching a deer and cannot avoid it- you don’t want to swerve into the path of another vehicle and cause a more serious accident while trying to get out of the way.
- Remembering that deer travel in packs. If you see one deer on or near the road, there are likely others nearby to watch out for.
Avoiding accidents with deer is important to save your life but also to prevent financial loss as well. The average cost of an insurance claim involving an animal accident is $2,030 in Pennsylvania, with 95 percent of these claims involving deer. However, if you are involved in a crash with a deer and injuries occur, the expense associated with the crash could be far greater. Not only are you responsible for your own injuries, but if your car hit other motorists and you were found to have been negligent in any way leading up to the accident, you could also be on-the-hook for the injuries you cause another as well.
A car accident lawyer in Philadelphia can help if you are involved in a crash. Contact Flager & Associates at 1-215-953-5200 for a free case consultation.