COLUMBUS, Ohio. Deer collisions are most likely to occur during the months of October, November, and December in Ohio. According to WMFD News, October through December are prime deer mating months in Ohio. The risks of colliding with a deer may be higher than you expect. Last year alone, 21,061 deer accidents were reported. Four people died and another 801 were injured. Deer collisions can lead to serious injuries, which can result in lost time at work and long recovery periods. According to Slate, every year, 10,000 people total are injured in deer-related accidents, resulting in insurance recoveries of almost $4 billion. There are several things that individuals can do to protect themselves from colliding with deer during the high season. Here are car accident attorney, E. Ray Critchett, L.L.C.’s tips:
- Know when your risk is higher. Dawn and dusk are times when deer are most active. If driving during dawn or dusk, keep your headlights on, and be aware of deer habitats. When driving at night, turn on your high beams, when possible. Signs are often posted in areas where deer are known to cross. If you happen to be driving through deer habitat at times of peak activity, your best bet is to slow down, stay alert, and put away your cell phone.
- If you see one deer, there are others. If you see one deer on the side of the road, this is a good indication that others may be nearby. Deer travel in groups. Slow down and stay alert.
- Stick to the center lanes. When driving on multi-lane highways in areas known to be deer habitats, the center lanes, away from the shoulder, are safest. In the center, you’ll have more time to react to a deer coming your way.
- Don’t swerve. If you see a deer in the roadway, don’t swerve. Swerving could make it more likely you’ll flip your car or collide with oncoming traffic. Hit the deer, but try your best to slow down first. If you see a deer in the roadway and have time to stop, make sure you slow down in a safe manner. You may also want to honk your horn. Some experts believe this may scare the deer off the road.
If you do get into an accident with a deer, it is important to report the accident. Many insurance companies require a police report before they’ll pay for damage or medical expenses. Get medical attention for yourself and for others in your car. Some injuries, like traumatic brain injury, can take days or even weeks before they become apparent. Get checked out by a doctor, even if you feel okay. Finally, if you are having trouble with an insurance claim after you’ve been in an accident, know your rights. Visit https://www.buckeyelaw.com/ to learn more about what options you have if your insurance adjuster isn’t offering you the settlement you believe you may deserve.