Deer Pose Dangers to Drivers in Virginia
A tragic accident this weekend claimed the life of a motorcyclist from Virginia Beach. It again highlights the dangers deer pose to drivers in Virginia.
William Oscar Rowe, Jr. of Virginia Beach was traveling east on a Harley Davidson on Route 40 near Flatfood Road on Saturday morning when a deer ran into the road, according to media reports.
Virginia State Police reported the fatal accident around 1:50 a.m. on Route 40 near Flatfood Road in Dinwiddie County. The location is about 40 miles west of Isle of Wight County.
According to a preliminary investigation from the Virginia State police trooper, Mr. Rowe ran into the back of a 2004 BMW 646 CSI as both the drivers tried to avoid a deer. Mr. Rowe lost control of his motorcycle and crashed. Our thoughts are with his family at this tragic time.
Every year, deer cause hundreds of accidents in Virginia. According to the Insurance Information Institute, 1.6 million deer-vehicle collisions occur every year, resulting in 200 deaths on average, tens of thousands of injuries and over $3.6 billion in vehicle damage. Being prepared can help prevent you becoming a statistic.
On occasions, accidents involving deer are fatal. You should always be alert for these animals, particularly during the fall.
When Are Deer Most Likely to Be on the Roads of Virginia?
Deer are most dangerous during the mating season. Deer mate from September to November but the busiest time for breeding is October. Deer are more likely to appear on the roads at this time.
Deer are large animals that can cause serious damage to a car. Motorcyclists are most vulnerable to deer impacts.
Here are some tips when you encounter deer in Virginia.
Tips for Avoiding Deer on the Roads of Virginia
Be wary at dawn and dusk:
Deer are most active during the half-light of dawn and dusk. It’s doubly dangerous in October because more drivers find themselves on the road during times of low visibility. Slow down and be aware, especially on rural roads in the darkness.
Watch out for other deer.
Don’t assume deer are alone. If a deer crosses the road ahead of your car, truck, or motorcycle, you should watch out for more. Deer are pack animals and they seldom travel alone. If you see an animal crossing the road you should be aware others may dart out into the highway.
Slow down on curves
Drivers face serious dangers from deer on curves where visibility is compromised. Motorcyclists, in particular, should slow down on curves. There may be hidden obstacles ahead or hazards such as gravel that their bikes may skid on.
Wear a seat belt.
You should always wear a seat belt. It’s the law in Virginia. Wearing a seat belt can reduce and prevent injuries. This is the case if you hit a deer. Drivers and passengers who fail to wear a seatbelt are more likely to be ejected.
Look for the signs. Many roads with high deer activity have signs. Look out for yellow diamonds with the image of deer on the signs. You may first notice a deer because its eyes will reflect brightly in a car’s headlights.
Honk your horn. If you are heading for a deer, honk your horn as well as applying the brakes. It may cause the animal to jump out of the way
Stay in the center. If there are traveling on a larger highway with multiple lanes, you should remain in the center lane in areas where deer are plentiful. The deer will be given more space and you will have more time to react if one runs on the highway.
Brake calmly. If you see a deer, brake steadily, and stay in your lane. Applying the brakes too firmly could cause the wheels to lock and your car to skid. Swerving across lanes to avoid an impact with a deer may cause an accident with another vehicle.
Call a Virginia Injury Lawyer After an Accident with a Deer
Often drivers are traveling too fast on dark roads. They may stop suddenly or swerve when they encounter an animal, leading to a crash. If you have been hurt due to the actions of another driver, please call a seasoned Norfolk car accident lawyer at (757) 455-0077.