Deer Season Dangerous For Drivers
The fall hunting season is clearly a dangerous time of year for deer, as hunters go after them with bows and rifles.
It turns out, however, that drivers are as great a danger to deer as hunters. In a press release issued by New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Supervising Wildlife Biologist Carol Stanko said, “This is a tricky time of year for drivers. There are probably as many deer killed in New Jersey each year by cars and trucks than as by hunters.’’
One insurance industry estimate states that there were 30,866 vehicular accidents involving deer in New Jersey in 2010 alone. Considering that white-tailed deer, the most common variety in New Jersey, can tip the scales at over 300 pounds, collisions with deer can be dangerous for the drivers as well.
The New Jersey State Police Fatal Accident Investigation Unit report for 2010 does not specify which type of animal, but one person was killed that year in an accident caused by a collision with an animal. Chances are pretty good the animal was a deer.
Collisions between cars and deer increase in the fall because the shorter days and colder weather lets deer know that it’s mating season. The deer spread out and move around in their search for a mate, which often involves crossing roads in unpredictable ways.
The hazard is even greater after the end of Daylight Savings Time on November 4, as peak commute hours will coincide with the dawn and dusk hours when deer are most on the move.
The DEP advises motorists to be especially cautious this time of year, and to pay special attention to deer crossing signs, especially at dusk.
If you or a family member have been injured because of a car accident, whether caused by a deer or by any other cause, contact a New Jersey personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Hasson, P.C.