According to the PA Game Commission, over 435,000 deer were killed in Pennsylvania in the 2020-2021 deer hunting season. A lot of people wouldn’t know that, since about 1 in 70 drivers will hit a deer every year. In fact, Pennsylvania has more car accidents caused by deer than any other state.
While hitting a deer can be dangerous, most deer impacts result in property damage, assuming you’re able to slow down before the initial impact. Most accidents resulting in serious injuries or death are the result of a driver swerving to avoid the deer.
Car Accidents Caused by Deer in PA
The leading cause of injuries and deaths from deer-related accidents in Pennsylvania is caused by a driver swerving. When drivers swerve they can crash into a tree or swerve into traffic causing devastating head-on collisions, injuring both themselves and other drivers.
As a passenger in a swerving car or a motorist in a car that was suddenly hit head-on, you could sustain very serious injuries. In fact, nearly 200 people die every year from vehicle accidents involving deer in Pennslyvania.
Drivers have a responsibility to use reasonable care operating their vehicles. There are PA laws for hitting a deer if it turns out the driver was in some way negligent. Just as how drivers should expect children when driving through a school zone, Pennsylvania drivers on rural roads should expect deer, especially on roads with deer crossing signs.
Here are some forms of negligence which often lead to deer-related vehicle accidents:
- Drivers speeding
- Inattentive drivers not slowing down for deer
- Distracted driving
- Not paying attention on roads where deer are expected to be present
Contact an experienced deer injury lawyer after being involved in an accident with a deer in Pennsylvania.
How to Avoid Hitting a Deer in PA
You may be wondering what to do to avoid hitting a deer in PA. If you see a deer in the road and it is safe to do so, slow down without swerving.
- If you see one deer cross the road, expect more to be behind it. Deer travel in groups, and during “the rut” (mating season) there are often bucks following doe around. For deer in Pennsylvania, the rut usually occurs during the first couple weeks of November although times vary.
- If a deer is in the road staring at your car, don’t expect it to move. This could literally be a “deer stuck in the headlights”. The deer was just likely walking through darkness with their eyes completely dilated and now they are blinded by your headlights. It will take some time for their eyes to adjust and until that happens, they may just stand there, frozen in place.
- Be on high alert on roadways with “Deer Crossing” signs.
- Pay special attention at dusk and dawn. Especially 6-9 PM and in the morning hours. Deer may be out even earlier in more lightly hunted areas.
- October – December is when most deer-related accidents occur.
Injured in a Car Accident Caused by a Deer in PA?
If you were injured as a passenger or as the driver of a second vehicle hit by a negligent driver who drove into oncoming traffic or crashed into a tree, contact us today for a free and confidential consultation. We have worked with injured passengers plenty of times and understand that you were likely riding along with a friend. Getting compensated for your injuries does not necessarily have to mean the end of a friendship. Contact our experienced deer injury lawyers near you.
It is wise to speak to an experienced car accident lawyer after any serious injury. The advice is free and will likely save you a lot of time and money.