As we enter the fall season, motorists are warned to keep an eye out for deer, as the majority of vehicle-deer accidents occur in October, November and December. The combination of shorter days and the deer rut season make for a significant increase in accidents during the fall. In fact, half of all deer-related accidents happen in the fall, with 85% of those occurring between 5 and 7 p.m.
Deer are crepuscular, which means the peak of their activity is around sunrise and sunset and during overnight hours. However, during breeding (rut) season, deer become even more active and tend to move around at all hours of the day and night.
On average, a deer hit causes $3,000 in vehicle damage and can cause serious injuries or even death to drivers. The majority of serious driver injuries and fatalities involve motorcycles and wet road conditions. Studies have shown that deer detractors, such as whistles, roadside reflectors, and warning signs do not appear to reduce deer collisions.
The best method to prevent these types of accidents is driver education. It is important for drivers, especially those driving on rural roads in deer country, to follow these safety tips:
- Be extra vigilant during October and November and during dawn/dusk.
- Reduce your speed near water, farm fields, and wooded areas; be prepared to stop.
- Deer will often cross roads and double back; make sure deer have moved away from the road before proceeding.
- Deer often travel in family groups. If you see one deer, be aware that others may be close behind.
- Alert other motorists to the presence of deer by tapping your brakes.
- Don’t swerve into traffic or off the road if you see a deer; instead stay on the road and slow to a stop.
Casey & Devoti is a St. Louis-based personal injury law firm. Together Partners Matt Casey and Matt Devoti have nearly 40 years of trial experience. They handle a variety of personal injury matters, including: car, truck and train accidents, victims of impaired and distracted driving, medical malpractice and birth injuries, product liability, slips/trips/falls, elder care and sexual abuse, Workers’ Compensation, and wrongful death. Matt and Matt proudly serve clients throughout metropolitan St. Louis, southeastern Missouri and southern Illinois. If you or a loved one have been injured by the negligence of another, call the office today for a free, no-obligation consultation: (314) 421-0763.