November marks the beginning of deer season on the roads of the United States. It may not shock many drivers to know that West Virginia tops the list of states with the most deer accidents. Sources indicate that 18 percent of all accidents involving deer occur in November. Being involved in a deer vs. car accident can cause significant damage and injury to anyone involved.

There are always obstacles for drivers to watch for on the roads, but deer are often unpredictable and can jet out in front of a car without any warning. Nevertheless, West Virginia drivers owe a duty of reasonable care not only to other drivers on the road, but also to the passengers in their vehicle. Knowing that deer are out there this time of year, drivers need to be more diligent.

Drivers should be sure not to speed, especially in areas that are known for having deer. Where there is one deer, there are normally more. Even if a driver honks the horn at a deer, there is no guarantee the deer will move. Driving slower may give a driver more reaction time, and hopefully, avoid colliding with a deer.

If a driver does collide with a deer, depending on how the accident occurred, the damage can be devastating. A head-on collision with a deer can cause significant damage and severe injuries or even death. In a car accident caused by a driver hitting a deer, the driver may be just as liable for the injuries or deaths of others as if the driver had hit another vehicle. Anyone injured or the family of anyone killed in such an accident has the right to file either a personal injury claim or wrongful death claim against a driver where the evidence suggests that his or her negligence contributed to the collision with the deer.

Source: Sequoyah County Times, “Car-deer accidents more likely in November,” Eric Viccaro, Nov. 2, 2012