Posted by: Kisling, Nestico & Redick, LLC
When you live in Ohio, you are likely to encounter deer on the roads. Deer are most active from October through December due to their mating season. During the rainy autumn and snowy winter, you have to mind both dangerous weather conditions and the potential for collisions with wildlife. Beginning in May through July, fawns are born and begin to travel, again increasing your risk of an accident with a deer. Knowing where deer tend to roam, when they are most active, and how you can drive to avoid a car crash helps you get through the year without any problems. However, if you experience a collision with a deer and you need legal advice, do not hesitate to contact Kisling, Nestico & Redick. We understand all of the complications you may encounter after deer accidents and will guide you through the legal process.
Ohio Deer Collisions Rise in 2015
The number of deer-vehicle collisions grew between 2014 and 2015, which means the risk of being in a crash might be on the rise as well. According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety, there were 21,061 deer-vehicle crashes throughout the state in 2015 – a 6.9 percent increase from the year before. This marked the greatest number of deer collisions since 2011. From the 2015 collisions, 801 individual’s sustained injuries and four were killed.
When The Risk of a Deer Accident is the Highest
It is not enough to say the risk of colliding with a deer is greatest between October and December. The highest risk can be more specifically pinpointed. Deer are not active all day. Instead, deer tend to be seen less frequently during daylight hours and more often at dawn and dusk. When you are driving through an area where deer are common, you should always be vigilant. However, if you are driving in the morning as the sun rises or in the evening as the sun goes down, be particularly cautious.
Avoiding a Crash With a Deer
Nature may be hazardous, but you can proactively reduce your risk of a crash with a deer. Keep these tips in mind when you drive:
- Look for deer-crossing signs
- Abide by the speed limit, or if possible, reduce your speed more
- Slow down further when driving around bends in the road
- Use your high beam lights when there is no oncoming traffic
- Occasionally honk when the road is free of traffic
- Look for the shine or reflection of your lights on the deer’s eyes
- Occasionally flash your lights if there is no oncoming traffic
- If on a multi-lane highway, drive in the inner lane
If you come upon a deer, never swerve your car or slam on your brakes. Both of these mistakes can lead to serious accidents with other vehicles. Instead, immediately take your foot off the accelerator, flash your lights and/or honk your horn, then begin to slowly apply the brakes. The flashing lights or a long horn sound may scare the animal off. As you slow down, if you can safely move to the shoulder of the road to avoid the deer, do so. However, never change lanes quickly. You could end up in a ditch or oncoming traffic.
If You Hit a Deer
Despite all of your precautions, you may end up in a crash with a deer anyway. If the unfortunate happens, remember to:
- Pull over to the side of the road, if possible
- Put on your hazard lights
- Do not touch the animal if it is still alive
- Call 911 if you or a passenger need immediate medical attention
- Call the police to report the accident
- Document the accident by taking photos or video with your phone
- Notify your auto insurance provider immediately
Take a careful look at your vehicle before you drive away. Are any of the tires flat or impeded by other parts of the car? Do your lights work? Can your hood fully close? Are you leaking any fluids? You should never assume your vehicle is safe to drive after hitting a deer. It is probably best to have your car towed to a mechanic for a full analysis of the damage.
Contact Kisling, Nestico & Redick for Legal Advice
A number of complications can arise after you hit a deer. You may need help filing an insurance claim or appealing a denied claim. If the collision involved another vehicle, you or the other driver may be arguing over who was at fault and whose insurance should be responsible. When repairing your car and gaining compensation for your injuries does not go smoothly, you should seek the advice of experienced Ohio car accident lawyers from Kisling, Nestico & Redick. We can fully investigate your situation and recommend the best course of action to get you back on the road.
Call Kisling, Nestico & Redick today at 1-800-HURT-NOW.