Ainsman Levine, LLC

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Autumn sees an increase wildlife-related crashes

Pennsylvania motorists should be aware that wildlife-related accidents become more common once daylight saving time ends and the days grow shorter. The autumn is the peak mating season for many animals, such as deer, and bears are still roaming for food to prepare for hibernation. Since they are most active between dawn and dusk, they become more difficult for drivers to see during this period.

In Colorado, for example, over 3,300 collisions with wildlife are reported every year to the Department of Transportation, with more accidents in November than in any other month. One insurance company has estimated that vehicle damage alone costs each driver an average of over $3,400.

Drivers are advised to take various precautions. First of all, they should slow down so that they have more time to react when wildlife is crossing the road. They should also be alert in the hours between dusk and dawn, especially when they enter areas where warning signs are posted. Usually, if there is one deer, others will follow. Stopping and honking the horn or flashing the headlights will help get the creatures off the road.

Lastly, the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration recommends wearing a safety belt. This reduces the risk of a serious injury or death by half.

Even if wildlife causes a car accident, a victim may still file a personal injury claim. In many cases, contributory negligence is a factor. A personal injury claim could be strengthened if, for example, the region's transportation authorities failed to put up signs warning about the presence of wildlife. A lawyer can hire investigators to build up the case.

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