In the autumn months, New Jersey car accidents involving deer increase considerably. According to an Associated Press news report, as neighborhoods increasingly encroach into deer’s habitat, there have been more encounters between deer and people. Sometimes, these encounters can be deadly. On October 4, 2011, a student at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey died when the car in which he was a passenger struck a deer and left the roadway in Galloway Township.
Officials say cars and deer don’t mix and New Jersey sure has a large deer population. According to State Farm Insurance, there were 30,866 accidents in New Jersey involving deer in 2010. That was actually a 3 percent drop from 2009 and it was the second year in a row that number was down. However, the number of accidents involving deer and vehicles is still pretty high.
Deer can be especially dangerous along high-speed roads. According to Car and Driver, there are about 500,000 deer versus auto collisions in the United States resulting in more than 100 fatalities and thousands of injuries. Deer versus car collisions cost about $2,000 per claim for repairs and injuries.
There are many ways by which such collision can be avoided. First of all, drivers should be vigilant during the early morning and evening hours when deer are most active. It is a good idea to use your high-beam headlights when it is safe to do so. When you see deer on the roadway from a distance, slow down and blow your horn with one long blast to scare the animal away. If the deer is too near, brake firmly. Do not swerve as it could cause you to lose control. Always wear your seat belt. Also, look for other deer after one has crossed the road since they always travel in droves.
If your vehicle has been damaged, or, if you have sustained injuries, please contact your insurance agent or insurance company to report the damages. Deer versus vehicle collisions are usually covered under your auto insurance policy’s comprehensive portion. If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident due to someone else’s negligence, please contact an experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.