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Mark Favaloro
Mark Favaloro
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Deer Mating Season Makes Roads More Dangerous for Virginia Drivers

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Virginia drivers are frequently reminded not to get distracted when they are driving. This need to be attentive to the road grows even greater in November and December in the early morning and evening hours because of the deer mating season. The deer are more active as they seek mates and may appear in places where they normally would not.

According to WTOP, Virginia ranks as the tenth most likely state for a driver to be involved in a car crash with a deer. While attempting to avoid hitting a deer may seem like the reasonable action to take, Kentucky State Trooper David Jones says it is better to hit the deer than to lose control of the car by swerving. If a driver swerves too far to the right, they may run off the road and end up in a single-car accident. If a driver swerves left, they may crash into another car or truck. This is exactly what happened on October 23, 2012 on I-95 in Virginia. A driver swerved to avoid hitting a deer, went off the side of the road, then hit a semi when he re-entered the road. His attempt to miss the animal caused a truck accident that closed down the highway for hours as workers cleaned up 150 gallons of fuel that spilled when the truck jack-knifed. The driver was charged with reckless driving and he and two others were treated at a hospital for injuries.

Experts recommend paying attention to the deer crossing signs that are on the sides of the road. They are placed specifically in locations where deer seem to congregate. If other cars are not around you, turn on your high-beam headlights to make the deer more visible. If there is a deer in the road, slow down as much as you can to give the deer time to leave the roadway, or at least lessen the impact, but do not swerve to try to avoid the deer. And once again, do not let distractions get the best of you when you are behind the wheel.

About the Editors: The Shapiro, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm, which has offices in Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC), edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as pro bono services.

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