When Deer and Cars Collide, Damage and Injuries are Likely
- May 18, 2016
- By: Tom Schimmerling
When Empire State residents think about deer, many of us not conjure up friendly images of Rudolph the Red-nose Reindeer and his fellow sleigh-bearing stags. Instead, the terrifying prospect of colliding with one of these 200 pound mammals pops into our minds, as the odds of crashing into one of these creatures in Upstate New York is far from slim. In fact, drivers in New York are more likely to crash into deer than residents of rural states such as Idaho, Oklahoma, or Tennessee.
Cars and deer and don’t mix
In one of the most recent deer-related car accidents, a driver was unable to avoid colliding with one of the animals when it wandered onto SR 13 near Veteran, New York. After hitting the deer, the driver lost control of his vehicle and ended up in oncoming traffic, where he was then struck be a sedan travelling in the opposite direction. As is too often the case in such accidents, one of the victims suffered life-threatening injuries and was airlifted to an area hospital for immediate treatment. Several other victims suffered lesser, but still serious, injuries.
Thousands of injuries and billions of dollars in damage
While no one died in the crash above, accidents involving deer kill around 200 Americans each year. The risk of death is especially high when a deer’s hooves go through the windshield. This type of accident also injures another 10,000 victims. In total, there are about 1.5 million deer-related accidents annually, which account for over $4 billion in property damage. In New York, one in 154 drivers will hit a deer, with many of these accidents occurring during migration and mating season, which runs roughly from October through December.
Simple steps to avoid deer-related car accidents
While deer-car accidents remain unpredictable, drivers can take the following basic steps to avoid or minimize such accidents:
- Observe posted signs that warn drivers of the likelihood of deer in the area
- When deer are visible, reduce speeds immediately
- After spotting a single deer, be aware that it is likely that there are more such animals near the roadway
- Be mindful that deer are nocturnal, so nighttime drivers should pay even closer attention to the presence of deer in the area
When deer-related accidents occur and injuries or serious property damage arise, other drivers may also be negligent. If you were involved in this type of accident, contact a experienced car accident attorney to determine if other parties may be liable.