If only weather forecasters could be this accurate.
About a month ago, we passed along a reminder from the North Carolina Department of Transportation that deer were expected to become a greater threat on state roads in the closing months of 2012. Now, the latest reports from auto repair shops and insurance adjusters confirms that this is likely to be an unusually dangerous year for traffic accidents involving deer.
According to compiled statistics, 90 percent of animal-related, motor-vehicle crashes in North Carolina are due to deer. Over the last three years, those crashes have averaged around 19,500—a number that’s more than double the records from 15 years ago. And even though most of the encounters have occurred on rural highways or suburban areas, deer have been found wandering the city and town streets in recent years.
State Traffic Engineer Kevin Lacy says this should be a warning to all drivers. “More deer are being seen in densely populated areas,” he told reporters. “Drivers need to be alert at all times,” said Lacy.
The closing months of the year are prime breeding times for deer, according to Chris Matthews, the natural resources manager for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Park and Recreation. Bucks seek mates in the autumn, before they lose their antlers. “This is the time of year when the deer get active,” Matthews said. “Unfortunately, that increased activity sometimes brings them in contact with drivers.”
Insurance adjusters, who track North Carolina traffic accident records closely, concur. According to statistics collected by State Farm Insurance, the number of car accident claims has dropped nearly nine percent over the last three years—but the number of accidents involving deer rose almost eight percent over the same period. More than 3,500 people have been injured in North Carolina due to vehicle collisions with deer since 2009, according to state transportation records.
The danger of deer on the highway
Vehicle accidents involving deer would seem to be of little interest to a Wilmington personal injury law firm, right? Unfortunately, that’s not the case. In a significant number of encounters between cars and wildlife, the driver will try to swerve his vehicle to avoid a collision … and accidentally crash into another car sharing the road. Mr. Lacy confirmed the risk, saying, “If you can’t avoid a deer, it is better to hit it than to lose control of your vehicle and cause a bigger accident.”
If you or your passengers have been injured in a road accident because another driver maneuvered recklessly to avoid wildlife in the road, you may be entitled to compensation. Call Speaks Law Firm today at 910-341-7570 or toll-free at 877-593-4233 and ask for a FREE consultation with one of our Wilmington traffic accident attorneys.
As always, your first case consultation will be 100 percent confidential and without obligation.