The risk level for different types of accidents can vary over the course of the year. It is important for drivers to be aware of what particular times of the year particular driving risks can be especially high. It is also important to drive in a manner that properly takes into account the risks specific to the current time of year. This kind of vigilance may help prevent accidents, which is a very important goal given the high costs, both human and financial, of traffic crashes.
Here in Michigan, one of the types of motor vehicle accidents that has a particularly high occurrence risk this time of year is deer-related accidents. The Michigan Deer Crash Coalition estimates that last year, the deer-related car accident total of the October to November period made up 42 percent of the entire year's total of such crashes (the year's total was 45,690 accidents). A variety of factors, including the mating patterns of deer, contribute to the high level of car-deer accidents in the state during this part of the year.
In these autumn months, it can be important for drivers to take deer-car crash prevention steps. Some such steps include:
- Keeping an eye out for deer, particularly at dawn and dusk.
- If a deer is spotted, slowing down in case other deer are in the vicinity.
- Being awake and alert out on the roads.
- Avoiding swerving if a collision with a deer cannot be avoided, as swerving could cause the accident to involve more vehicles.
Among the reasons why taking deer-car crash prevention steps is so important is that these crashes can take a very big toll. It is estimated that over 1,000 people were hurt in such accidents in Michigan last year. Also, it is estimated that, annually, at least $130 million worth of damage is caused in the state by such crashes.
How vigilant do you think Michigan drivers, in general, are when it comes to deer-car accident prevention in autumn? What areas do you think they generally need to get better at in this regard?
Source: The Morning Sun, "Autumn means increase in car-deer accidents," Susan Field, Sept. 28, 2015