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Drivers Have a 1 in 145 Chance of Hitting a Deer in Indiana

Injury Attorneys | Restoring LivesTM

January 22, 2018 | Automobile Accidents |

Drivers Have a 1 in 145 Chance of Hitting a Deer in Indiana

The 2017 numbers in State Farm’s 15th annual deer collision study have been released, and Indiana ranks 27th on the list of most likely states to have a collision with a deer. Although position 27 may not sound very high, drivers have a 1 in 145 chance of being involved in a car crash with a deer in Indiana, making it a “high-risk” state.

When and Where Are Deer Crashes Most Common?

The first step in preventing an Indiana auto accident with a deer is to arm yourself with information about their behavior.

  1. Deer are most active from October through December. Because of this, there are more Indiana auto accidents involving deer during this time of the year.
  2. Deer are more active at dawn and dusk. This fact, along with the low light, results in a higher number of accidents during this time.
  3. Deer are most commonly found in heavily wooded and rural areas. They are most likely to be encountered near areas where deer hunting is illegal, such as in subdivision, state parks, national parks, and nature preserves.
  4. Deer are pack animals and almost never travel alone. If you see one deer, you can be nearly certain that others are close by.

How to Protect Yourself From a Crash With a Deer

If you drive on roadways where deer are commonly present, you need to drive cautiously. The following safety tips can help to ensure you are not one of the over 14,000 drivers who is involved in an Indiana car accident with a deer each year.

  1. Observe road signs. Be aware of road signs that indicate a higher likelihood of deer in the area. These signs are present in areas where there are known deer crossings and an increased deer population.
  2. Slow down. If you are driving in an area that is indicated as a high deer population, slow down.
  3. Turn on your high beams. When driving at night, use your high beams when it is safe to do so. This will increase your visibility further in front of you, as well as to the sides of the road, where deer are likely to come from.
  4. Do not overreact. If a deer enters your path, resist the urge to swerve. Brake as quickly as possible and try not to overreact. Hitting the deer is better than swerving, which could cause you to sustain an accident with a ditch, flip your car, or put you against something far worse than a deer, such as another vehicle.

What to Do If You Hit a Deer

If you happen to be involved in an Indiana auto accident with a deer, heed the following instructions:

  1. Move your vehicle to a safe place. Pull off the road, if possible, and turn on your hazard lights.
  2. Call the police. Indiana police officers are experienced in handling accidents with deer. The police officer will attend to your situation, and file a report as necessary. As with any accident, follow the officer’s instructions.
  3. Do not approach the deer. Deer are wild animals and are dangerous, especially when they are injured. Don’t approach the deer to see if it’s still alive; the police officer will approach the deer, and ensure it is euthanized if necessary.

What Happens to the Deer?

If you have the proper permit, you do have the right to keep the deer in Indiana. You may also consider donating the deer to a food bank. Participating deer processors will accept and process the donated deer at no cost. The cost of butchering is covered by the Sportsman’s Benevolence Fund, and the meat will go to those in need.

If you have been seriously injured in an Indiana auto accident because of another driver’s overreaction or negligent driving behaviors, you need to speak with an attorney. Contact WKW at 800-525-8028 to schedule a free, no-obligation legal consultation with an Indianapolis car accident attorney.

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