Avoiding A Car Collision Involving Deer

Florida has an abundance of wildlife, and each year animals cause traffic accidents that lead to serious personal injuries and even fatalities. Small animals can run out into the road, causing accidents when drivers swerve to avoid the animals. Larger animals, such as deer, can cause serious damage to a car and can cause a serious car accident leading to spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, and other potentially life-altering injuries.

Experts recommend that drivers:

1) Exercise added caution at night. Deer move around most at night and in the hours before sunrise and sunset. Unfortunately, the dark also reduces driver visibility. If you are driving near wooded areas of fields at night, put on your high beams and proceed with caution. Scan the sides of the road for deer that may be ready to leap onto the road and slow down so that you can stop in time if a deer does jump out unexpectedly.

2) Be wary when you see a deer. When you see one deer, chances are that there are other deer nearby. Deer tend to group together. At the first sign of deer, slow down and keep on the lookout for more deer.

3) Understand deer. Deer are most active in the fall, which is rutting season as well as hunting season. While you need to be extra-cautious during the autumn, however, deer can and do cause accidents year-round. Keep in mind, too, that deer are blinded and become disoriented by headlights. A deer will often not move just because it sees your car and lights. Do not assume that deer will move out of the way of your vehicle.

4) Know your route. Some stretches of highway and roads are especially known to have a high incidence of deer-related car accidents and tend to have more deer sightings. Find out which areas in your vicinity have high numbers of deer and use extra caution when driving these routes.

5) If you cannot avoid a car accident because of a deer, apply your brakes and brace for the impact. Avoid swerving your car, as you are likely to cause a more serious accident by entering an oncoming lane of by leaving the road. Many car collisions with deer cause damage to the front of a car. After an accident, leave the car and inspect your vehicle to see whether your radiator or motor is damaged. Avoid getting out of your car if the deer is unconscious – an injured deer may attack you. Contact your insurance company and find out whether you need to file a police report. Call the local wildlife service about the deer. Get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible to document and treat any possible injuries you may have sustained.

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