Sunday night, there were three car wrecks involving deer within one hour on three different roads in Horry County.
Because of mating season and hunting season, deer are on the move. They are most active and most likely to be crossing highways during the Fall and early Winter months as they look for mates or move away from hunters.
Be extra cautious on Horry County roads for the next few weeks - below I will go through some basic safety tips for avoiding deer collisions and what to do if you hit a deer on the road.
How can I Avoid Hitting a Deer on the Road?
Changing weather, mating habits, and threatening gunfire force deer to move more quickly and more often at this time of year. This means that you are more likely to see deer crossing the highways and there is a higher danger of a collision with a deer.
How can I minimize the danger of driving in Horry County during deer season?
- Be extra watchful at dusk and at dawn - deer are more active and most likely to cross highways at these times.
- If you see a deer on the side of the road, slow down and be vigilant. It takes only a moment for a deer to leap in front of your car. Also, when you see one deer more are likely to be nearby...
- If you see brake lights ahead, slow down and be alert to the possibility that drivers ahead have spotted deer on the roadside or that deer are crossing the road.
- If you see one deer cross the road ahead of your vehicle, slow down and be ready because more may be about to follow.
- Headlights may confuse deer who are crossing or on the roadside - be aware that bright lights may cause a deer to freeze in the road (a "deer in the headlights," literally).
I Hit a Deer on the Road, What Should I Do Now?
Sometimes, no matter how careful you are, a deer will appear out of nowhere and crash into your windshield. What now?
You may have only a split second to think as a deer leaps into your path. Although it may be counterintuitive, do not swerve. Brake lightly, but, if you 1) slam on brakes or 2) swerve to miss the deer, you might make the wreck worse by hitting other vehicles, hitting a guardrail, or running off the highway.
If you do hit a deer, remove the deer from the road if you are able to and if it is safe to do so. Contact highway patrol or the local police department so that they know where to find the deer carcass. If the deer is still alive but wounded, be sure that law enforcement knows what happened and where the wounded animal is located.
Contact your insurance company immediately to let them know what happened and whether there were injuries.
If there was only minor property damage, your insurance company will usually take care of it without the need for an attorney. If there were injuries or if multiple cars were involved in the accident, however, you should contact an Horry County personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Ready to Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Your Myrtle Beach auto accident lawyer at Axelrod and Associates will help you to determine who was at fault and what your possible sources of recovery are - your own insurance company may be responsible for damages, or another driver may be responsible if there were multiple cars involved in the accident.
If you have been injured in a collision with a deer or any kind of auto accident in Horry County, Myrtle Beach, or the Rock Hill area, schedule a free consultation with a Myrtle Beach personal injury lawyer on the Axelrod team. Call us at (843) 916-9300 or fill out our contact form today.