New Jersey Wildlife Officials Warn of Accident Risk during Deer Breeding Season
There seems to be no shortage of hazards on New Jersey roads—distracted drivers, drunk drivers, wintry precipitation, and now, love-sick deer. New Jersey wildlife officials recently announced that white-tailed deer breeding season has begun, which can lead to erratic and dangerous behavior by deer on local roads.
Deer mating season hits its peak between late October and mid-December throughout the state of New Jersey, but begins earliest in the northern portions of the state. Department of Fish and Wildlife director David Chanda advised that the state’s drivers be even more alert than normal during the late fall, “when deer can suddenly run onto any roadway, from busy highways to country roads,” he said. “One moment of inattentive driving can result in serious or even life-altering consequences.” Drivers are advised to be especially cautious during morning and evening rush hour, both due to poor visibility, and due to the fact that deer are most active between 5:00 am and 8:00 am, and again between 5:00 pm and midnight.
Colliding with a deer can have very serious consequences for drivers. Over 26,000 deer/vehicle collisions are reported in New Jersey each year, but the actual number is estimated to be much higher. When you see a “deer crossing” sign, pay special attention; these signs are posted where larger-than-average deer populations have been found. Drivers should use their high beams whenever possible, especially when driving alongside wooded areas. If you notice one deer, be on the lookout for more, since they tend to travel in groups. If a deer remains still in the road after you come upon it, don’t swerve around the deer, but instead wait for it to cross, as they may move suddenly. If you cannot avoid hitting a deer, continue traveling straight ahead and stay in your lane. Deer-caused accidents are more likely to become fatal when drivers who swerve to avoid a deer hit either an object on the side of the road or travel out of their lane into oncoming traffic.
If you have been injured in an accident in northern New Jersey, find out if you could have a legal claim for compensation based on your injuries, and contact the experienced and effective personal injury lawyer Andrew R. Jacobs for a consultation on your case, at 973-532-9681.