It’s that time of year again: Streets are icy, snowdrifts line the roadways, and deer seem to enjoy standing in your headlights.
Whether you’re from rural Vanderburgh County or the heart of downtown Evansville, many Hoosiers encounter deer while driving. It’s simply a hazard of living in Midwest state. In fact, according to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR), there are more than 14,000 deer-vehicle collisions in Indiana each year.
Don’t become part of that statistic. There are a few simple things you can do to decrease your chances of getting into an Evansville car accident with a deer.
1. Keep Your Eyes Open
Those yellow deer crossing signs aren’t just there to decorate the Indiana’s highways. Be mindful of marked deer crossings, and glance into open fields as you drive by to make sure there aren’t any deer standing near the road. Be mindful if you’re driving past or through one of Indiana’s state or local parks or nature preserves. Stay especially alert during dawn and dusk when deer forage for food.
2. Stay Vigilant Year-Round
Yes, it’s true that deer are more active during their autumn mating season. In Indiana, this starts in October and typically lasts until December. During this time, deer become less cautious around roads and may cross at unexpected times. However, it’s important to stay alert all year long. Deer don’t migrate or hibernate, so expect them to be active even during the winter months.
3. Be Extra Careful in Poor Weather Conditions
Whether you’re in the middle of a downpour or battling ice or snow, bad weather exacerbates most risks you encounter on the road. This includes your risk of hitting a deer with your car. Obey the speed limit, and don’t be afraid to slow down further if the roads are particularly dangerous. Be sure to maintain a reasonable following distance with the car in front of you. This will ensure that you don’t rear-end them if they have to brake suddenly for deer.
Don’t forget that bad weather extends past dramatic events like hail or blizzards to seemingly minor things like fog or a light drizzle. Fog can be especially dangerous because it often occurs at dawn when deer are most active. Stay alert and use your fog lights.
4. Watch Out for Other Drivers
Deer near or on the road can cause other drivers to stop suddenly. Again, a safe following distance is crucial in case a vehicle in front of you has to brake to avoid a collision with a deer. However, even deer on the side of the road can cause other drivers to act irrationally. Some drivers will stop to take pictures of the deer. If you see deer on the side of the road, keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t approach the highway, but also keep an eye on your fellow drivers to make sure they don’t respond irrationally.
Help from Hensley Legal Group
If you’re injured in a car accident because another driver reacted poorly to the presence of deer, you may be entitled to compensation. Call the Evansville personal injury lawyers at Hensley Legal Group for a free conversation about your claim, or contact us online.