Deer are a common sight in Minnesota during the fall. When hunting or simply enjoying the outdoors, it can be exciting to see a deer in the wild.
It is not so exciting to see them on the road. Minnesota drivers must be aware of the risk deer pose, so they can stay safe behind the wheel.
November Carries The Highest Risk Of Deer Accidents
According to Consumer Reports, November has the highest rate of accidents and insurance claims involving collisions with animals. Last year, there were roughly two million claims nationwide.
And while the rate of injuries in these crashes has decreased in Minnesota over the years, colliding with a large animal can sill be incredibly dangerous. On top of that, research conducted by State Farm ranks Minnesota as a high-risk state, placing tenth in the nation for the likelihood of a collision with a deer.
So How Can Drivers Avoid Collisions Involving Deer?
What precautions can Minnesota drivers take to stay safe and avoid a collision with a deer?
There are five critical steps to remember:
- Use high beams: When it is safe to do so and there is no oncoming traffic, drivers should turn their high beams on at dawn, dusk and during the night, when deer are most active. High beams can help increase visibility in these situations.
- Keep your eyes peeled: On the same note, it is still important to keep one’s eyes on the road – especially on the side of the road and ditches. Even with high beams on, drivers should still make sure they are on the lookout for deer.
- Do not speed: Following the speed limit and even slowing down in areas with a high chance of deer crossing can make a big difference. It can give drivers more time to react should they come across a deer.
- Use your brakes: It is critical that drivers brake – and not swerve – if they see a deer. Swerving puts the driver and other motorists at risk. Additionally, the deer could still dart in either direction, resulting in a collision.
- More deer: When you see one deer, assume there are more. Slow for a deer crossing in front of you and assume more will follow. That is common.
Deer collisions can be serious. Often it is the drivers conduct after a deer is sighted that determines the seriousness. Keep in mind what professional drivers are taught, do not swerve. Take the deer, not the ditch.
With any sort of injury from an auto collision, it is prudent to discuss your options with an attorney. No matter who is at fault, or no one, there are rights and procedures an attorney can explain.