PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania. According to AAA, animal crashes were responsible for 2,080 fatalities between 2001 and 2011. Animal collisions peak in November, when deer are mating and when hunters are more active. What can you do if you see an animal suddenly on the roadway this fall? If you see a deer or other animal on the shoulder of the road, be aware that most deer travel in groups. Slow down and scan the road for other animals. The times when you are at greatest risk of a collision with a deer or other animal is at dawn or dusk. Put on your high beams during these hours and at night when there is no oncoming traffic. Your high beams make it more likely that you’ll be able to spot a deer or other animal in the road.
What happens if a deer is in your lane and it appears there is nothing you can do to avoid a collision? Whatever you do, don’t swerve into oncoming traffic, another lane, or into the shoulder of the road. Put your safety first and the safety of other drivers first. Tragic accidents have occurred when a driver has swerved onto oncoming traffic trying to avoid hitting an animal. Driving onto the shoulder is no safer, either. If you are moving at fast speeds, the change in grade or surfaces can cause your car to flip. You also run the risk of losing control of your vehicle and hitting a tree, pedestrian, house, or other obstacle. If you see an animal in the roadway and it appears you cannot prevent hitting it, slow down and stay in your lane. Animals can be good at avoiding accidents. Give the animal the best chance possible to predict your behavior by staying your course and by slowing down.
The best way to prevent animal collisions is to be alert. If you see wildlife signs while driving on country roads, slow down, especially at dawn or dusk. According to Wikihow, wildlife experts suggest that you drive no more than 55 miles per hour on roads known to have wildlife during good weather conditions. If weather is poor, you should be driving more slowly. Put down your cell phone, avoid taking calls while driving, and know your route before you leave home so you won’t be distracted by your GPS. If you have a passenger, ask him or her to help you scan for animals. If you do see an animal, don’t honk your horn or blare your high beams, unless the animal is some distance away. Slow down.
Have you or a loved one been involved in a crash with an animal? Have you been hurt? Goodrich & Associates, P.C. are car accident lawyers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania who work closely with drivers who have been injured in crashes. Our firm can review the circumstances of your accident and help you seek damages from insurance providers or from other negligent parties. Visit us at https://www.goodrichpc.com/ to learn more.
Goodrich & Associates, P.C.
Law & Finance Building
429 Fourth Avenue Suite 900
Pittsburgh, PA 15219