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Posted on October 6th, 2014,
by Zane Cagle

MSHP Recommends “Driving Through the Deer” and Slowing Down

Posted on October 6th, 2014 by Zane Cagle

deer seasonAs temperatures fall, motorists are being 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.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, just under 3,500 deer-vehicle crashes occurred in Missouri in 2013. Those figures result in an average of about one deer strikes every two and  a half hours.  Officials say that while none of the  2013 crashes in Missouri were fatal for drivers/passengers, there were 303 people injured.

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. 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 often times the swerving and veering we do as drivers is far more dangerous than actually hitting the animal in the road. Our natural instinct is to avoid and swerve to miss something in 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 keep their attention on the road and using high beams at night when there is not oncoming traffic. High beams help illuminate their eyes and make them (deer) more visible.

We’ve All Seen Deer Pop Out of No Where!

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

deer crossingCar collisions with deer are not found only on rural highways. Last November, I blogged about deer-car strike collisions on Interstate 270 just north of Tesson Ferry Road.  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 1(314) 276-1681 or locally (314) 276-1681 for your free consultation today.