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Night Driving, Deer Accidents, an Autumn Risk in Alabama

Nov 2, 2012 - Birmingham by

Night driving isn’t the only additional risk factor we face as the clocks turn back an hour — November is also the deadliest month of the year for traffic accidents involving deer.

Sunday Nov. 4 at 2 a.m. is the official end of Daylight Savings Time. Our Birmingham injury attorneys understand it’s also the beginning of the deadliest eight weeks of the year on the road. 490062_night_traffic

Daylight Savings Time began in several countries as a way to conserve fuel during World War I. The United States followed with passage of the Standard Time Act in 1918. President Franklin D. Roosevelt dubbed it “war time” when he extended observance to year around during World War II.

Early dark puts many residents commuting home at dusk, or later. This increases the risk of all types of motor-vehicle accidents, including bicycle and pedestrian accidents. Drowsy driving accidents are also more likely. And, as we reported recently on our Alabama Injury Attorneys Blog, drunk driving and aggressive driving also increase the risk of accidents through the trio of year-end holidays.

Now turn the wildlife loose on Alabama’s byways!

More than 1.2 million of these accidents occur annually in the United States each year and November is the deadliest month, followed by October and December. As hunters take to the woods, deer are already on the move and foraging for winter. Dawn and dusk are the most dangerous time for motorists.

As a motorist, it’s important that you take the risks seriously. A report by State Farm determined the risks for such accidents continue to increase — up nearly 8 percent this year. On average, 100,000 motorists a month strike a deer. However, far more of those crashes happen during the last three months of the year than at any other time.

At least 200 motorists a year are killed and thousands more are injured. These accidents most often lead to serious or fatal injury when a driver loses control of the vehicle while attempting to avoid the animal, and either drives off the road or into oncoming traffic. Whether you are involved in a one-car accident or an accident involving multiple vehicles, consulting an experienced law firm is important in the wake of an injury accident. Even when dealing with your own insurance company, you can’t count on a fair deal.

State Farm reports more than 26,000 deer accidents will occur in Alabama this year. That’s more than 70 per day! The state ranks 24th in likelihood of collision. The average motorist in Alabama has a 1 in 146 chance of striking a deer this year.

Driving after dark takes a conscious adjustment, particularly as we head into the busy holiday season. Start a conversation about those risks with your family — and pay particular attention to educating young drivers.

Additional Resources

Fatal Birmingham Dog Attack Kills 83-year-old Leeds Man — 33 Rottweilers Euthanized, By Cross & Smith LLC, Oct. 23, 2012.

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