Police officers from the Milledgeville police department, a county less
than two hours southeast of Atlanta, are warning drivers of an increase
in deer related collisions in recent weeks. This is caused by an increasing
deer population as well as displacement of their habitat due to urban
sprawl. When you are traveling on a highway or other major road at 50-60
mph or more, there is a good chance you will not be able to see a deer
in the road until it is too late. Officers are warning drivers to slow
down and take extra caution during night driving.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, deer collisions
in the United States cause about 200 fatalities a year, with the average
damage to a vehicle costing over $3,100. A study from the University of
Georgia found that more than 45,000 deer and vehicle collisions occurred
between 2005 and 2012. In addition, a yearly study done by State Farm
Insurance found that there is about a 1 in 150 chance that a driver in
Georgia will be involved with a collision with a deer. October through
December is deer migrating season and has the highest rate for deer collisions
out of the year.
Deer can appear without any warning. Knowing
how to react properly as well as knowing where and when they are most likely to appear can greatly
reduce your risk of being involved in an accident. If you are driving
through an area where you may be at an increased risk of a deer collision,
there are things you can do to minimize your risk of hitting a deer:
Be aware of posted deer crossing signs. They are generally placed in active
deer crossing areas.
Deer are most active between 6 and 9 pm
Use high beam headlights as much as possible to illuminate areas from which
deer may enter the roadway.
Deer tend to travel in herds. So if you see one, the chances are high that
there may be others near by.
If a deer collision seems inevitable, trying to swerve out of the way can
cause you to lose control of your vehicle and crash into a tree, rolling
your vehicle over, or moving into the path of another oncoming vehicle.
The leading cause of accidents, injuries, and deaths from deer-related
accidents is when a vehicle swerves in an attempt to avoid hitting the
deer. Although it is likely against a driver's instincts, the safest
thing a driver can do is to slow down as much as possible and let your
vehicle strike the deer. All of these things can help you avoid collisions
on the road, and can keep you and your passengers safe on the road.
Contact Goldstein & Hayes, P.C.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to an automobile accident
or traffic incident, the experienced personal attorneys at Goldstein &
Hayes, P.C. are here to help you with your case. Contact us today for
a free consultation.