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Safe Winter Weather Driving and Wildlife-Related Accidents

Posted on in Car Accidents

Wisconsin accident attorney, accident liability, Wisconsin injury lawyerIn winter, deer and other types of wildlife become more prominent on the roads. As a result, wildlife-related accidents increase. One recent case, which involved two vehicles and a deer in Georgia, caused the death of an 11-year-old child. Sadly, it is far too common of an issue.

 Wildlife-Related Accident Statistics

According to the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), one in 17 cars is involved in an accident with wandering wildlife — about one every 39 minutes. The majority of those collisions occur on two lane roads, much like the one that recently took place in Georgia. Approximately 200 motorists are killed each year because of an accident involving wandering wildlife.

Reducing Your Risk

While not every wildlife-related accident can be prevented, the following tips can help you reduce your overall risk:

  • Slow down when you see yellow animal-crossing signs. These are placed in areas where animal traffic is statistically higher;
  • Proceed with extra caution at dawn, dusk, and at night;
  • Reduce your speed to give yourself more time to stop;
  • Watch the shoulders for signs of wildlife. Even if they do not appear to be in your way, know that they may attempt to flee by running into the road instead of away from it;
  • Watch for the reflection of eyes;
  • Remember that many types of animals, including deer, travel in groups. If you see one, there may be others;
  • Realize that, when the roads are salted because of ice and snow, wildlife are often more prominent;
  • Do not count on the deterring abilities of deer whistles. Research has yet to prove there are any real advantages to their use;
  • Be extra cautious with moose. They have the strange habit of weaving along the road before finally retreating into the trees and bushes, and an adult can weigh as much (if not more) than a car.

To Swerve or Not to Swerve

Even if you are extra cautious, there may come a time when you simply cannot avoid hitting an animal. Basic instinct is to swerve. Unfortunately, as the recent crash indicates, this instinct is dead wrong; swerving can put you in the path of other vehicles, or it can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Instead, remove your foot from the accelerator, ease onto the brake (do not slam), and grip the wheel firmly to reduce your risk of losing control of your steering.

Involved in a Wildlife-Related Accident? Get Help from an Experienced Automobile Accident Attorney

While most people are aware of the need to hire a personal injury attorney if they are involved in an accident with another car, many fail to see the importance of hiring an attorney when they only have to file against their own insurance. Regardless of what your insurance company may tell you, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries and damage to your car. Insurance companies will attempt to reduce that compensation as much as possible.

The Law offices of Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown LLP can help. With more than 40 years of experience, we strive to protect the rights of the injured and can help advocate for you against your auto insurance company. Receive your initial consultation with our skilled  Milwaukee personal injury attorneys today by calling 414-271-1440 today.




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