By David Peel
Every Fall, the normally docile deer become oblivious to traffic. A few seem to transform into car-seeking missiles. Ever seen a teen walking with her face in her phone? That’s the idea.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol cautions motorists every year to watch out for deer during mating season, known as the “rut.” Early mornings or late evenings in November are usually the most common time for deer strikes. In Tennessee, deer-related crashes have increased almost 25%.
Deer managed to cause at least 6,953 Tennessee crashes in 2015 alone! At least 350 of the motorists complained of injuries while still on the scene. No doubt, many more were hurting in the days following the impact.
Also, some one-car accidents, such as hitting a tree, resulting in death or memory loss, may well have been well-intentioned attempts to miss deer. State Farm, the largest U.S. auto insurer, relates that these crashes average over $4,000 in property damage!
Tips to help you, and those you are care about, not become a statistic include:
Fall mating season movement is highest at dawn and dusk, so scan the roadsides and use your high beams whenever you can.
If you do spot deer, slow down immediately, and expect more to follow behind the ones you see.
Do not swerve! This is likely to put you off the road, flipped over, or into oncoming traffic. All of those can be more far more severe than the average deer strike. Additionally, deer that do see you are more confused by swerving headlights. Hold straight and brake.
You may have heard that if you hit a deer, dog or other animal, the injured animal is very dangerous. So never approach the animal. If you can, move the vehicle as far off the road as possible, and dial *THP (*847) or 911 if you need help.
Yes, you can eat the deer. Just contact a TWRA regional office and report the accident within 48 hours through TNwildlife.org.
Peel seeks justice for those injured in car accidents, medical malpractice, and nursing homes. He often addresses churches, clubs and groups without charge. Peel may be reached through PeelLawFirm.com wherein other articles may be accessed
By David Peel