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Avoiding Deer and Other Wildlife While on the Road

Whitetail deer season is right around the corner, with activity peaking October-December due to mating season.

Deer are crepuscular; they are most active at dawn and dusk. Unfortunately, that means we are less likely to see them when on the road and more likely to get in an accident.

Driving With Deer on the Road

Avoiding a deer accident starts with reducing distractions and being aware of your surroundings. Pay attention to deer crossing signs that indicate areas of high deer activity. Also, keep an eye out for their eyes, which reflect light from your headlights. Drive slow around bends or corners where visibility is reduced.

If you see one deer, anticipate more in the area. Deer will rarely cross a street in a group. Slow down when you see a deer and look for others on the side of the road. Drive especially slow when other cars are near. Slamming on your breaks or swerving could cause a serious accident, so avoid these maneuvers as they could endanger your life and the lives of other drivers.

Whitetail deer are part of the Illinois landscape of flora and fauna. Sharing our roads with them can be dangerous, but the risks can be mitigated with safe driving and preparedness. If you are involved in an accident with a deer, stay safe by pulling your car off the road, putting your emergency flashers on, and assisting anyone who has been injured. Report the accident and exchange contact and insurance information.

Wildlife Accidents and Insurance Claims

A lot of people assume uninsured motorist coverage will cover your losses when there are no other insurance policies against which to file a claim. This is only true in cases where another motorist was involved. However, many severe motor vehicle-deer accidents involve multiple cars, in which case you might have a right to compensation from the liable party.

If a deer caused the damage to your car, your comprehensive coverage should pay your claim. If you swerved to avoid hitting a deer and hit another vehicle or property, your collision coverage will pay your claim. And if you have PIP or med-pay insurance, that coverage might pay your medical bills up to your policy limits. Speak with an experienced Arlington Heights auto accident attorney if you are involved in an auto accident. A knowledgeable attorney can help determine your options for seeking compensation based on liability.

Sharing the Road With Wildlife

Fall is a beautiful time of the year in the Northwest suburbs, and deer can add to the ambiance. Stay aware of deer and other wildlife whenever driving to avoid potentially dangerous accidents and enjoy the season safely.

R.F. Wittmeyer

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