Saturday, November 19, 2011

Deer in the Headlights!!!

 As a Bucks County personal injury attorney, I see all sorts of circumstances leading to car accidents.  One of the most dangerous to life and property is an accident involving wild animals on the roadway, in particular, deer who streak out in front of our cars or literally jump into our cars.  It is said that the fall is one of the more dangerous times of the year for this, so I thought I would share some driving safety tips which I found online.

First, though, I want to share with you the video below, which is a perfect example of how deer can sometimes be glued to the road, in this case by fear.  According to reports, the deer in the video had almost been struck by a vehicle as she crossed the road. Frozen with fear, she stood in the middle of the road for almost one half hour before she was rescued by a sheriff's deputy.

When he came to her and tried to nudge her to move from her spot, she would not move, so he picked her up and actually carried her to the side of the road. After a few moments and a few friendly pats on the back from him, she finally came to her senses, and bolted off into the woods. This story exemplifies the danger to both the animal and to the occupants of the vehicles on the road.  Fortunately, it had a happy conclusion.  After you have viewed it, look below for some tips on avoiding a collision with deer on the road.

Both person, animal and property can suffer significant damage from collisions with deer. Serious injuries and death can occur from these collisions. Consumer tells us that the average car-deer collision produces approximately $3171 in property damage. Where I live, I see dead deer on the side of the road far too often.  While part of the problem is simply the diminishing space for the deer to safely roam, there are things we can do as drivers to help avoid such outcomes.

SLOW DOWN   This is so obvious but we sometimes starts cruising along and forget just how fast we are going.  Deer are especially active around dawn and between the hours of 6 to 9 pm.  At night time, there is the additional risk of them being transfixed by the headlights of traffic, making the danger even worse.  Try and be aware of your speed  and your surroundings in areas where you see deer-crossing signs, wooded areas, and fields and parks which deer and other wildlife tend to inhabit.

PAY ATTENTION    Pay attention to your regular routes and the places where you often see deer grazing and congregating together.  Try to remember to slow down and watch carefully for any activity in these areas. If you should see a deer on the side of the road, slow down while you pass.

BRAKE OR STOP   It is often suggested that you brake rather than swerve to avoid a deer on the road, as swerving can put you at risk for hitting another car or losing control of your vehicle.

BE ON THE LOOKOUT   Be on the lookout for other deer, as they often travel in groups and will follow each other onto the road.  If you see one, others are likely to follow.

BUCKLE UP FOR SAFETY   This advice applies whenever you get into your car, not just for yourself but for your passengers, too.  I won't start moving my car until everyone has buckled up!  A study showed that 60 percent of people killed in animal-vehicle collisions were not wearing their seat belts.

Do you have any other safety tips for avoiding collisions with animals in the wild?  Please share them here.
Feel free to contact me at

Thanks for some of the information in this post goes to: