After You Hit a Deer Beware of Secondary Crash Risk
Indiana State Police say the time of year is here for deer-vehicle collisions to become increasingly more common leaving Hoosier drivers at greater risk of being involved in a secondary incident or secondary crash. A secondary crash is an accident that happens as a result of another wreck or highway incident. The likelihood of a secondary crash increases with each minute that a road event remains unresolved. Nationwide, 20 percent of vehicle crashes are a result of a secondary crash of which 18 percent end with a fatality. Wagner Reese’s car accident injury attorneys have collected these two steps filled with smart driving tips to keep all Indiana road users safe this time of year.
How to Avoid a Collision with a Wild Animal
If traveling on roadways that are known for heavy wildlife, there are several precautions drivers can take to prevent a collision with a deer and refrain from causing a secondary crash.
- Scan the road and shoulders ahead of you. Looking ahead helps provide enough reaction time if an animal is spotted. Also, deer typically move in groups, so when there is one, there are usually more ahead or behind.
- Use high-beam headlights if there’s no oncoming traffic. Wildlife may be spotted sooner when using high beams. High beams also help in spotting some animals’ reflective eyes.
- If a collision is unavoidable, remain in your lane. Swerving to avoid an animal can often cause a more serious crash or result in drivers losing control of vehicles.
- Be extra cautious at dawn and dusk. Most animals, especially deer, tend to be more active early in the morning and at dusk.
- Be aware of increased wildlife movement in some regions during certain times of year, such as hunting or mating season.
- Drivers should always wear a seat belt and remain awake, alert and sober.
- Don’t allow yourself to become a distracted driver who sends texts or uses their phone.
If You Hit a Deer in Indiana
Even the best driver may not be able to avoid a collision with a deer but knowing what to do in the moments after may keep yourself and other road users safe.
- If you do hit a deer or a wild animal, do your best to move your vehicle out of roadway traffic so others are not involved in an abrupt stop that will slow traffic or create alternative road hazards or accidents. So, in short, get out of the way and pull to the side of the road if you can. Stay in your vehicle and turn on your hazard lights until you can evaluate next steps.
- Indiana Department of Natural Resources suggests after hitting a deer to call the police. If there are no other vehicles involved and all are unharmed, a report can probably be made. If the deer is still alive, don’t approach it. Let the police officer assist.
As with any vehicle accident, follow the officer’s instructions. After the report is finished you will be free to go but we have some tips for accident victims as well such as gathering evidence in pictures and collecting witness contact information. Remember, some injuries may show up hours to days after an accident. Be sure you visit with your medical provider to keep track of any health concerns triggered by the accident in the case that a claim will need to be made.
Injured in a Secondary Crash? Contact Wagner Reese Today.
If you or your family members were injured in a secondary accident triggered by a wild animal crash or another driver’s poor choice, the team at Wagner Reese can assist. There is no risk, as we never collect any kind of fee unless your case is settled or won.
Get in contact with us today at 888-710-9377 to schedule a free consultation or speak with us by submitting our online form and our attorneys will be happy to review your information.