According to Myrtle Beach Online, South Carolina ranks No. 10 nationally in the number of deer-related motor vehicle collisions. When a car crash is caused by a deer, you likely need to make a claim with your own insurer to cover any damage. In some situations, however, multi-vehicle accidents happen when animals are involved. Determining whose insurance should cover costs and losses can be very complicated – a dilemma that an experienced lawyer may be able to help untangle.
Drivers in South Carolina are most likely to become involved in an accident with a deer during the months of October, November and December. There is an increased number of deer crossing roads during these months because of mating season and hunting season.
The risk of a collision with a deer is substantial. The odds that South Carolina drivers will hit a deer this year are as high as one in 93. This is almost twice the national average as determined by insurance claims data from State Farm.
The risk of collision is highest during both dawn and dusk, just when many drivers are traveling to and from work. Drivers need to be aware of the danger and should follow some basic safety tips, including:
- Wearing seat belts at all times
- Using extra caution in areas where large deer populations are known to be
- Using high-beams at night when there is no oncoming traffic
- Avoiding swerving when seeing a deer, as this could lead to a multi-vehicle accident
- Not relying on deer whistles or other devices that promise to keep deer off your path, as these devices have not been proven to be reliable
- Scanning the road ahead for deer or other potential dangers
During deer season, it is especially important for drivers to also remember other basic safety tips. For example, driving distracted is always dangerous but the risk is elevated during deer season. If you are using a cell phone or texting and miss seeing a deer in your path, you could be held legally responsible for negligence in causing or contributing to any resulting collision. This means that if other drivers or passengers are hurt in an accident with a deer, the victims could take legal action. The same is true if you are speeding and, as a result of the excess speed, are unable to stop in time to avoid hitting a deer.
An experienced accident lawyer can help to determine if someone was to blame for your crash involving wildlife, and can assist in pursuing a claim for compensation. Consult Howell Law for a case assessment.