Over the years, deer collisions have grown more frequent in South Carolina. In fact, State Farm Insurance calculates the annual odds of a vehicle colliding with a deer in South Carolina at one in 93. These odds place our state in the top 10. Nationally, the odds are one in 169. Fortunately, there are certain things you can do to lower your chances of having such an encounter. At all times, wear seat belts and obey speed limits. Beyond that, do the following:
Use extra caution in the evening – Although the exact times vary seasonally, deer are often more active between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., so this is the time of day when extra vigilance is important. However, be aware that deer often feed at various times from dusk to dawn, so it is important to watch for deer all night long.
Use high beams when possible – When there is no oncoming traffic, the use of high beams will not only illuminate the road further ahead, it will also cast extra light toward brush and trees where deer are sometimes lurking.
Watch approaching headlights – If you are driving in an area that is prone to deer crossings, watch the headlights of oncoming vehicles. If a deer crosses right in front of such a vehicle, the headlights will briefly go dark – first one, then the other. If you detect this telltale sign of a possible deer crossing, immediately slow your vehicle as it is possible that more deer are coming.
Respect deer crossing signs – Signs that identify deer crossings are there for a reason; it’s an established route that deer herds have used in the past. Be extremely vigilant when you are in an area with one or more deer crossing signs.
Think it through – Visualize how you’d handle a potential future collision with a deer. It’s vital to avoid the instinct to wildly swerve, because you may lose control or careen into oncoming traffic. It’s more likely that you’ll avoid catastrophic results by thinking your maneuvers through in advance.
At Harris & Graves, P.A., we want you to have safe driving experiences. However, if you or a family member is a victim in a crash, please reach out to us to discuss the matter. Consult with our Columbia accident lawyers is free of charge. To learn more, please contact us.