Fall brings one of the most common contributing factors to Virginia auto accidents into the headlights: Deer. With their large population encroaching on suburban and rural habitat, deer contribute overwhelmingly to crashes throughout the state.
Before the fall and winter seasons set in, it may be necessary to remind motorists in Virginia that deer are particularly active during the hours shortly before sunset, after sunset and after sunrise. To avoid the car crashes in Virginia that could result from a close encounter with a deer, let's recall these driving tips:
- Be especially careful during the periods when deer are active.
- Drive cautiously when you move through deer-crossing zones, in areas known to have a large deer population, and where roads divide agricultural fields from forestland.
- Deer seldom move around alone. If you see a deer, expect others nearby.
- Use high-beam headlights when you drive at night, if there is no oncoming traffic; you may see the deer much sooner.
- Honk your horn if you see a deer. This may help to frighten the animal away.
- If a deer bolts into your path, brake firmly but stay in your lane. Serious crashes occur when drivers swerve to avoid the deer and, instead, hit another vehicle or lose control of their cars.
- Make sure you always wear a seat belt.
Another way to avoid car-deer collisions is to avoid rural roads. It is better to take a highway than to take a shortcut through the pleasant countryside where an encounter with deer is more likely. You may also wish to avoid driving during the early morning and sunset hours.
If you happen to strike a deer, do not touch the animal. A frightened and wounded deer could hurt you or further injure itself. Pull your vehicle over to the side of the road and call the police.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Virginia car accident, please contact our Warrenton or Culpeper office today. Our Virginia accident attorneys are available for a free discussion of your accident case.