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Autumn is in full swing, and the stunning color of the changing leaves is not the only new thing to come with the season. Fall also brings a significant increase in various wildlife populations, leading to more frequent deer sightings. While this is great for photographers and sightseers who want a glimpse of the natural world, it can be quite hazardous to drivers. Deer have no way of knowing that crossing a road puts them and any oncoming vehicles at risk of serious injury. This November, as the weather turns chilly and autumn creeps ever closer to winter, avoid wildlife collisions by following these simple tips.
1. Utilize Your Headlights. Deer are nocturnal animals, meaning that they’re most active between dusk and dawn. Unfortunately, this is also the period of lowest visibility without the aid of the sun. When driving at night, always use your headlights. Turn on your high beams where possible to get a better view of the road ahead.
2. Lookout for Signage. Official signage can often be very helpful, especially if you find yourself in an unfamiliar area. Deer crossing signs may be posted in areas that see a lot of wildlife traffic. Heed the warning and keep a close eye on either side of the road. You never know when a deer might be getting ready to cross.
3. Be Wary Around Curves. Sharp curves in the road sometimes present a problem for drivers. The limited visibility means that you can’t see any potential roadblocks, including deer. We recommend that you significantly reduce your speed and keep watch in front of your vehicle. That way, you’ll be able to respond in case of an unforeseen obstacle.
4. Avoid Swerving. If you should happen to encounter a deer on the road, avoid swerving if at all possible. You may run off the road or hit another vehicle, causing even more damage. Instead, use your brakes to slow down and wait for the deer to cross or move.
5. Lay on the Horn. A deer caught in the headlights may seem frozen to the spot. Use your horn to encourage the animal to move along. A quick sound burst should do the trick, but repeat with longer blasts in case it doesn’t work the first time.
Here at Wayne Hardee Law, we understand that accidents happen. Even the most experienced drivers are sometimes caught off guard by deer or other wildlife on the roads. We help our clients with all kinds of accidents, ensuring that you get proper compensation for any damages or sustained injuries. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and discuss your case with one of our skilled attorneys!