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How to Prevent North Carolina Deer-Car Collisions & Wildlife Accident Injuries

This week, the North Carolina Department of Transportation issued a warning to drivers that October is the most common month for deer-car collisions in North Carolina - an issue that causes thousands of injuries and millions of dollars of property damage each year.

What can North Carolina drivers do to prevent deer-car collisions and minimize NC wildlife accident injuries and fatalities?

  • Know where deer are common. You are more likely to see deer on the road near heavily-wooded areas, bridges, railroad tracks, overpasses, water, and open fields. 
  • Look for signs. If you see warning signs for frequent wildlife crossing, realize that they have been posted because of past accidents and sightings. 
  • Where there is one animal, there are often others. Deer often travel in groups. If you see one deer, look for others on the edge of the road. Don't just focus on one animal. 
  • Use your peripheral vision. You will be more likely to avoid a wildlife collision if you keep your eyes on the road, as well as on the shoulder of the roadway. At night, look for the reflection of your headlights in animals' eyes. 
  • Use your headlights. Headlights can improve your visibility during dawn and dusk. At night, use your high beams when possible to further improve your ability to see approaching wildlife. 
  • Know when deer are most active. Be especially cautious during the fall months and during hours with low light, such as dawn and dusk. 
  • Follow the regular rules of the road. Speeding, tailgating, and reckless driving will increase your chances of a wildlife collision - or your chances of creating a chain reaction crash when someone in front of you strikes an animal. 
  • Don't swerve. If you cannot brake in time to avoid an animal in the road, do not attempt to swerve to miss the deer. A sudden turn of the wheel at high speeds can lead to a rollover accident, and swerving off of the road can have dire consequences. While it may seem counter intuitive, it is safer to strike the deer than to suddenly turn your car.

There are some wildlife collisions that could have been prevented if not for the actions of someone else - such as an accident caused by a reckless driver or poor road design. To discuss your North Carolina deer-car collision, speak with a Raleigh car accident attorney today.