As any longtime resident of Tennessee will tell you, the deeper we move into the fall season, the more driving-related hazards that will emerge on the roads and highways. Indeed with the cooler temperatures and the falling leaves comes more rain, more fog and, of course, more deer.
In fact, the Tennessee Highway Patrol recently issued a warning to motorists to start keeping an eye out for deer now through December, as we have officially entered the deer mating season, which typically peaks in November.
In case you have a hard time believing that deer pose that significant of a risk to motorists traveling on the highways, consider the following statistics:
- State highways saw 22 percent of deer-related accidents from 2011 to 2015
- Deer-related crashes rose by 8.15 percent from 2014 to 2015, with 6,429 crashes in 2014 versus 6,953 crashes in 2015 (351 of which resulted in personal injuries)
- Deer-related crashes in the state have risen by 22.04 percent since 2011
Interestingly, State Farm Insurance recently released its annual report detailing the likelihood of a motorist being involved in a deer-related crash in all 50 states. It determined that Tennessee is a "high risk state," with motorists having a one in 147 chance of hitting a deer in 2016.
Fortunately, the THP did provide some safety tips for motorists to consider:
- When driving along rural highways take care to drive defensively and remain alert especially at dawn and dusk, scanning roadsides regularly
- If a deer is spotted, anticipate that more are in the vicinity
- Should a crash prove inevitable, do not swerve, and attempt to slow down as much and as safely as possible
- Post-collision, attempt to move your vehicle as far off the road as possible, call the THP and be certain not to approach an injured animal
It's important to remember that deer aren't the only risk facing motorists. If you've been involved in an accident caused by the reckless actions of another and suffered serious personal injuries, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible.