MSHP Recommends “Driving Through the Deer” and Slowing Down

When temperatures fall, motorists are warned to keep a lookout for one of fall’s common causes of auto accidents–deer. The Missouri Highway Patrol indicates that as mating season and hunting season combine with a high number of deer, the number of deer-related car crashes usually rises.

Some Helpful Hints:

  • If you see a single deer on the side of the road, you should reduce your speed and expect to see more.
  • If you are about to hit the deer, your odds of surviving are better if you drive through the deer rather than trying to swerve to avoid it. Swerving or over correction and loss of vehicle control are usually the reason for fatalities and serious injuries in secondary crashes. The same goes for a squirrel, rabbit, or dog. None of us want to kill another living thing, but oftentimes the swerving and veering we do as drivers are far more dangerous than actually hitting the animal in the road. Our natural instinct is to avoid and swerve to miss something on the road.

According to Sgt. Jake Angle, spokesman for the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Troop H, there are auto crashes involving deer throughout the year but there is a substantial increase in the fall. As the oppressive heat leaves Missouri and Illinois, deer are up and moving about more. But more importantly, fall is the mating season, and deer are moving around a great deal more which increases car-deer accidents.

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation’s website, the peak of mating season for white-tail deer is November. It is advised that drivers can do their part to avoid collisions by keeping their attention on the road and using high beams at night when there is no oncoming traffic. High beams help illuminate their eyes and make them (deer) more visible.

We’ve All Seen Deer Pop Out of Nowhere!

As we all have seen, deer can pop out of literally anywhere. The quicker we see them, the better our reaction time. If you see a deer- SLOW DOWN as there will more than likely be more.

However, if you cannot avoid a deer the Missouri Department of Conservation recommends apply the brake but strike the deer. While that sounds counterintuitive, often a driver’s first instinct can work against him or her. “What we see a lot is, people see a deer, and their natural reaction is to jerk the wheel to avoid the deer,” said Angle, “What ends up happening is they’re traveling off the roadway and a lot of times and doing more damage to their vehicle or injuring themselves in the secondary accident.”

Swerving to avoid a deer can also cause another accident with other vehicles.

Not Just Rural Highways

Car collisions with deer are not found only on rural highways. You should be on the lookout for deer on any road whether it is a rural highway or interstate. During mating season (fall), deer are on the run due to hunting and mating and deer end up running across highways and interstates.

If you have been involved in an auto accident and have been injured through no fault of your own, you may need legal representation. Our attorneys at The Cagle Law Firm are expert attorneys when it comes to auto and/or truck accidents. Representing your rights aggressively is what we do. Call (314) 276-1681 for your free consultation today.

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The Cagle Law Firm serves accident and injury clients throughout St. Louis and the greater St. Louis metropolitan area, including the eastern Missouri and southern Illinois communities. If you or a loved one needs legal assistance with your personal injury case, call The Cagle Law Firm at (314) 276-1681 or use our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.

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