Autumn provides the perfect backdrop for family excursions, romantic getaways, and lazy drives outside of the city limits. Experiencing the landscape and wildlife commingle in preparation of colder days ahead acts as an instant anti-stress mechanism; that is until the wildlife get a little carried away and attempt to commingle with your vehicle. A car crash is never a pleasant experience, but it’s even rougher when animals are involved. So how do you avoid hitting a deer in the Midwest of all places and not have to get your auto accident attorney in Michigan involved?
Observe the Signs
Deer crossing or sighting signs are common and posted for a reason. Areas with high cliffs, extended woods, and hidden waterways are usually populated with several packs of wild deer. Be sure to slow down and pay attention. Get everyone in the car to help spot any active wildlife. Make it a game with the kids… the first one who spots one gets the choose the next game, the next movie, or the radio station. And if driving alone, be especially cautious and alert at least until you’re out of potential harm’s way. It’s easier and far less painful than being involved in a Michigan auto accident.
Get the Timing Right
Deer mating season lasts between October and November. Most female deer go into heat for 24 hours during November, however, sometimes the season is pushed through February.The more open areas that permit deer mating in the area, the more wildlife activity you’ll likely see or experience. Deer are crepuscular which means they’re primarily active from dusk to dawn. So try to keep your non-city driving to a minimum outside of daylight hours. And if you have to drive in open areas after twilight, incorporate some of the next tips to avoid having a Michigan auto accident.
Watch for the Herd
A singular frolicking deer is a rare occurrence. Deer are pack animals so when you see one, you can pretty much guarantee more are on their way. As majestic creatures as they are, they’re not the brightest bulbs in the box. If a deer strikes your car as opposed to you hitting the deer, chances are the animal will be more scared than hurt and just want to get away. Your vehicle and the people inside may be another matter altogether.
According to the National Highway Safety Administration, approximately 1.5 million deer-related accidents occur each year. These accidents not only result in more than $1 billion in vehicle repairs, but they also result in 10,000 injuries and up to 200 fatalities every year. Guess which cluster of states are within the top ten states for fatal deer accidents? If you’ve guessed the Midwest states, pat yourself on the back. And what is the main reason for those fatalities? Swerving into the path of destruction. So don’t swerve if you see or hit a deer. Brake. Wait for the danger to pass. Stay in your lane and slowly proceed when the coast is clear.
No one likes being blinded by someone else’s brights, but there are reasons to use them. Obviously, it’s only common sense to flip them down for oncoming traffic. But when it comes to animal crossing or sighting areas, those high beams are often life savers. According to the Michigan Deer Crash Coalition, Michigan reports a total of 185 deer accidents every day… and countless more go unreported.
How serious is it? Well, 10 deaths were reported in the state as a result in 2015. The statewide bare minimum or PIP insurance doesn’t cover wildlife damage. You need comprehensive coverage for that. Every Michigan driver should automatically assume they’ll at least see a deer during their travels, so it’s important to be prepared. And if disaster does strike, don’t go it alone. A competent car accident attorney in Mt. Clemens Michigan may be able to help you get up and rolling again.