Close to 50,000 Virginians will file insurance claims for deer-related accidents at an estimated cost of nearly $15 million, according to the Fairfax Times. Virginia (VA) is currently ranked fifth out of all 50 states for deer-vehicle accidents and the frequency in which these accidents occur has increased 18 percent in the past five years, according to Reuters. It’s clear this is a major safety issue and an added risk while you’re behind the wheel.
It’s terrible if you wind up hitting a deer with your car. We’ve all seen the after-effects on the side of the road and the damage to your car can be extensive. Nevertheless, what’s even worse is to swerve in order to miss the deer and wind up slamming into another vehicle or veering off the road and hitting a tree or light pole. This can lead to a serious injury such as a broken back, lacerations to the face, a traumatic brain injury, or even death.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating pressing on the accelerator when a deer appears on the road, but the safety of you, potential passengers, and the other drivers on the road takes precedent over a deer.
You also need to be aware that only a comprehensive insurance policy covers deer-related accidents. This is important since 36 million Americans don’t have comprehensive insurance plans, according to USA Today. So not only is a deer accident dangerous, it can be costly if you’re not adequately insured.
The best piece of advice I can give you is be vigilant. The challenge with these deer-related accidents is that the animals leap out of nowhere onto the roadway providing very little reaction time for a driver. This is why you must always maintain eye contact on the road and be ready for anything that comes your way.
About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm (VA-NC law offices ) edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono service to consumers.