The sun is going down sooner, the weather is getting colder and soon we will be seeing the leaves change to signal that autumn is here. Even though studies show that summer is one of the most dangerous times of the year, fall has some exclusive hazards that were not as prevalent when it was warmer out. October will mark the beginning of deer mating season.
Unfortunately, Iowa's forests and heavily rural structure means that there will be a lot of deer endangering the road. Last year, State Farm found that Iowa residents have a 1 in 69 chance of hitting a deer, which are the fourth highest odds in the nation. Even when you have comprehensive coverage to help you recover, hitting a deer is still dangerous and inconvenient for your car and financial needs. It is important to keep the following tips in mind before you head out on the road.
Plan for more daytime driving
More deer crossing occurs at dawn or dusk as more wildlife cross the streets when there are fewer cars around, and it is darker out. Aside from the increased activity at night, you do not have the benefit of seeing them ahead of time like you would during the daytime. As difficult as it can be with the increasing amount of nighttime in the fall, you should attempt to schedule your driving time while the sun is still out.
Pay attention to signs and common deer areas
Some locations will warn you of frequent deer activity ahead of time with a sign, which means that you will want to slow down when proceeding or find a different route. Iowa is high in prairies and farmlands, which are popular areas for deer to cross during the night. Even if you do not see a deer warning sign, take the same precautions as if you did see one.
Use lights and pay attention to the shoulder
Using high beams will give you a better view of what is ahead. Just make sure to not have them on when entering traffic, as it could cause problems for you and the other drivers and there likely would not be deer near that location anyways. As you go forward pay attention to the shoulder of the road as it is a popular location for deer to stand in.
Avoid swerving the vehicle
When most people are unlucky and have less than a second to react to a deer, their first reaction is to swerve their vehicle to avoid hitting the animal. Doing this has a higher chance of causing an accident than avoiding it. For example, a teen in Germantown recently swerved to avoid two deer and rolled into a ditch, where she ended up with $750 worth of vehicle damages and personal injuries.
If there isn't a nearby ditch or light post to hit, there could still be a driver in the other lane. If a driver injures you by swerving their car to avoid a deer, they could be liable for your personal injuries. An auto accident attorney in Iowa can help you receive compensation for the other driver's negligence.