As many Wisconsin residents already know, October and November are peak mating season for local deer. That means they’re moving around a lot. Unfortunately, that means crossing roads.
That can be extremely dangerous for the deer and for people. The number of collisions involving deer – or cars swerving to avoid them – increases during these months.
While deer and other wildlife used to be seen only if people drove out of the cities and suburbs, as people started building farther into once-remote areas it’s not so unusual to see them on our local streets and even into yards searching for food.
Simple precautions can help drivers avoid these collisions
Be especially cautious when driving around sunrise and sunset. This is when they’re most likely to be on the move. The hours when it’s dark also require special care. That “deer in the headlights” expression can become a reality – a dangerous one — if an animal is startled by your lights and stands frozen in place for even a moment.
Pay attention to deer crossing signs, which often indicate where deer are most likely to be. However, remember that these signs are for us – not the deer. They could be anywhere. Further, if you see one deer on or near the road, be on the lookout for more. They often move in packs.
Finally – and this is the hardest one to remember and to do – don’t swerve suddenly to avoid hitting a deer. You could easily end up hitting another vehicle or a bicyclist who may be riding on the shoulder. The same goes for slamming on the brakes. This could result in a serious rear-end or chain reaction collision.
This is why it’s crucial to watch your speed and keep your eyes on the road. This way, you’re more likely to see an animal before it’s too late and to be able to slow down enough to let it safely pass.
An unsafe move generally puts a driver at fault
Certainly, as we all know, not everyone takes these precautions. If you’ve been injured in a crash caused by another driver who swerved or stopped suddenly to avoid an animal, it’s likely that they’ll be considered primarily at fault.
That’s true whether they were trying to spare the animal or simply were so startled that they acted out of instinct. Either way, they put others in danger. Getting legal guidance can help you protect your right to fair compensation for your medical bills and other expenses and damages.