The Barnes Firm

Car accident lawyers in Oakland explain why deer-car collisions increase in the autumn

Deer Cause Serious Accidents in the Fall Season

Each year, there are tragic car collisions with deer during the fall months.  The reason there are many deer-car collisions during autumn is that the fall is the mating and migration season for deer, as well as many other animals.  AAA recommends that drivers use extreme caution when driving at night from October through December – especially during dawn and dusk hours.

The Oakland car accident lawyers at The Barnes Firm recently collected data on these types of collisions involving deer and other animals throughout the state of California.  They found that most car accidents involving wildlife happened between the hours of 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.., and in more rural areas, it’s been reported that approximately 80% of deer-car collisions happen at dusk or dawn along two-lane roads.

The Barnes Firm’s car accident attorneys in Oakland are concerned about driver safety, and offer the following tips to help you and your family avoid a potentially fatal collision with wildlife in your neighborhood:

  1. Avoid driving between the hours of 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. during the months of October, November and December. According to AAA, 84% of car-deer collisions occur during this time period.  It is wise to plan your travel ahead of time and avoid driving during these peak deer-car accident times.
  2. Ask passengers to avoid the front seat and sit in the back of the car. Cars ride lower to the ground and are more aerodynamic in shape.  When a car strikes a deer, the deer is likely to crash into the windshield.  If the deer is an adult weighing 100-pounds or greater, the deer’s body could come through the windshield, causing serious injury or even death.  It is recommended that you keep passengers in the back seat as a safety precaution whenever possible.
  3. Pay closer attention to the road as well as the side of the road. If you’re reducing your speed and watching for deer, you may be able to increase your chances of avoiding a collision with a deer.  Keep in mind that deer are not afraid of motor vehicles.  Deer can (and will) walk out in front of car even when there’s traffic.  Many drivers who’ve struck deer report that the deer walked out into their lane and stopped in the middle of the road.  Watch for deer alongside the road.  If you see deer alongside the road, there’s a good chance there are others around and you should reduce your speed and always use your high beams whenever possible to increase visibility.

A recent study predicts that there will be 1,300,000 large animal-car collisions this year. Fortunately, California is considered a “low risk” state for deer accidents.  According to an insurance study, Californians have a 1 in 1,125 chance of striking a deer. In comparison, you have a 1 in 77 chance of getting into some other type of motor vehicle accident.

Car accident lawyers in Oakland say the best defense against a deer-car accident is applying safe driving techniques.  For additional information about wildlife-vehicle collisions, you can visit the Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology deer accident web page.

The Barnes Firm (800) 800-0000