Although the number of deer-related car accidents in the state decreased by 7.7 percent in 2010, Ohio remains fourth in the nation in deer-related car accident deaths. There were 23,201 deer-vehicle accidents in 2010, down from 25,146 in 2009. The majority of deer-related accidents are minor (for people–most times it kills the deer), but the crashes resulted in 920 injuries and four deaths.

According to an insurance study, Ohio was rated fourth in the number of deer-related car accident deaths with 49 deaths in the period from 2005-2009. The leaders were:

  • Texas 88 deaths
  • Wisconsin 57 deaths
  • Michigan 53 deaths

Experts offer the following tips for avoiding joining those killed by deer-related accidents:

  • If you see one deer, slow down. Remember, deer travel in herds or small foraging groups.
  • Use High-beam headlights at night.
  • Be alert when you see deer crossing signs.
  • Deer whistles are generally considered to be ineffective at preventing deer-vehicle accidents.
  • If you believe you will hit a deer, maintain control of the vehicle. Brake firmly, but not so much that the car begins to veer. Always stay in your lane and never swerve to avoid hitting a deer. Hitting a deer is less likely to result in a traffic fatality than striking another car or stationary object such as a tree.

Although deer-related accidents are often the fault of the deer alone, there are many ways in which the negligence of people could contribute to a deer-related car accident and wrongful death. If, for example a driver does swerve into oncoming traffic, the resulting head-on collision could result in traffic fatalities.

Faulty roadways can also contribute to deer-related deaths. If a known deer crossing is not marked, a designed deer crossing is poorly placed, or if alternate crossings are not designed in high-traffic areas where feasible, you may be able to pursue compensation for a wrongful death of a loved one due to a deer-related accident.

To learn whether you can receive compensation after a fatal accident, please schedule a free case evaluation with the Columbus, Ohio personal injury lawyers of Robert W. Kerpsack, CO, LPA.