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Could Technology Help Drivers Avoid Hitting Deer and Other Animals?


From October to the end of December each year, the number of serious car accidents involving vehicles and deer spikes dramatically.

Why is that?

There are really two reasons.  The first is that it is mating season and deer populations tend to move around more during this period.  The second reason – it’s hunting season.  During hunting season, deer again tend to move about more to avoid human predation.

It is estimated that nearly 20,000 car accidents involving deer occur every year in Connecticut and that more than 35,000 occur annually in states like New York.   Nationally, approximately 2,100 of these collisions are fatal to the driver or passengers in the car.  What’s more, collisions with smaller animals – dogs, raccoons, squirrels, opossums, and skunks – also cause drivers to lose control of their cars resulting in serious car accidents.

Can technology help prevent these collisions?

In Canada, officials in the Eastern region are testing solar-powered roadside infrared and radar technologies that can detect animal movements near roadways, analyze the size of the animal and the speed of its movements and warn drivers that animals are nearby.  There are also new technologies being tested by automakers that will create smart cars capable of detecting animals in the path of a vehicle within 525 feet of the car.  These systems will also rely on infrared technology to “see” animals before the driver and sound a warning.  Mercedes, Audi, BMW, and Volvo are all testing this new approach.

While we all wait for technology to help – what are the practical things each driver can do right now?

Steps to Avoid Hitting a Deer or Other Animals:

  • Be aware that deer almost always travel in groups.  Where there is one – there are almost always more.
  • Remember that deer tend to be most active in the evening from 6-9:00 PM.
  • Realize that deer can be very unpredictable – often reacting erratically to loud noises like a horn, fast vehicles, and bright lights.
  • When you are in an area where deer might be found – prepare yourself by scanning the area constantly and considering “what if” scenarios in your mind.
  • ALWAYS wear a seat belt!
  • Teach the young drivers in your family about the dangers of animals on the road.

RisCassi & Davis has handled thousands of car accident cases in Connecticut over our more than 65 years serving the people of this state. If you are ever in a car accident of any kind and would like a free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers, please contact us today. There is no obligation of any kind.

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