Tennessee Highway Patrol Urges Drivers to Be Aware of the Presence of Deer
Fall weather is in full swing in Middle Tennessee, and with the temperature changes come an increase in deer activity, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
WKRN.com reports that fall is when deer-related car accidents are most likely to occur because it coincides with the beginning of deer mating and hunting season. A spokesperson with the THP says that drivers should remain cautious when driving in Middle Tennessee and stay alert for the presence of deer on or around roadways, especially early in the morning at sunrise and just after sunset, as deer tend to be more active at those times.
Deer caused 6,429 crashes in Tennessee last year, which was a nearly four percent increase from the previous year’s total number of deer-related accidents.
In 2014, deer-related traffic accidents caused 6,122 crashes involving serious property or vehicle damage, 306 crashes involving serious injuries, and one crash involving a fatality.
Tips for Avoiding Deer and Wild Animals on Middle Tennessee’s Roadways
The natural beauty of Middle Tennessee makes driving near wooded or rural areas a pleasure, but it can also put drivers at risk due to the presence of deer and other large animals that can seriously damage vehicles and cause injuries to drivers and passengers.
To reduce your risk when driving in and around Nashville this fall, do your best to follow these tips:
- Slow down when driving through areas known for deer population.
If you’re driving in an area where deer crossings or sightings are common and frequent, reduce your speed and be prepared to slow down or stop if you see a deer in or near the roadway. By reducing your speed, you will have more time to react if you see a deer in the road ahead and will be much less likely to strike it with your vehicle.
- Flash your lights if you see a deer in the roadway in front of your vehicle.
The phrase “deer in headlights” refers to the tendency of deer to freeze when they bright lights in their direction. Flashing your lights is an effective way to make deer move out of the roadway, as is using your car horn as you approach the deer.
- Don’t swerve if you see a deer—especially if there’s other vehicles around.
If you see a deer in the roadway near your vehicle, avoid swerving to avoid it. Doing so not only puts you at risk of striking other vehicles in adjacent lanes, but it can also cause you to lose control of your vehicle and run off the roadway or even cause your flip to flip onto its side or roof.
- Anticipate that deer near the side of the road may jump into your vehicle’s path.
Just because a deer or group of deer is standing near the side of the road doesn’t mean you can drive through the area without slowing down. Deer are unpredictable and may jump out into the path of your vehicle with little to no warning. If you see deer or are driving through an area where deer are known to cross the roadway, always reduce your speed.
Deer and other large wild animals can pose significant risks to drivers, so it’s important to always be aware of their presence and be ready to slow down or come to a stop if you deer in the road in front of your vehicle. In addition, you should always wear your seat belt to reduce the severity of injuries you are involved in an accident, and never drive while distracted in areas where deer are commonly seen.
If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident caused by a negligent or careless driver, the Nashville auto accident attorneys at Matt Hardin Law want to help you get the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, lost wages, and vehicle repair costs. Let us put our two decades of experience to work for your family. Just dial (615) 200-1111 or complete a free online consultation form.