Watch Out for Deer on Alabama Roads: How to Stay Safe as the Days Get Shorter

Watch out for Deer on Alabama Roads

When the weather changes, the days are shorter, and the leaves turn; it is the beginning of fall and deer season. In Alabama, deer season opens on November 18th and runs through February 10th.   

With 200,000 licensed deer hunters in Alabama going after the whitetail deer, approximately 300,000 deer are hunted annually in Alabama.  

Injuries during deer hunting season include vehicle collisions with animals, but other injuries occur during deer hunting season. Last year, there were 15 non-fatal tree stand accidents where a hunter fell out of the elevated platforms created to shoot deer. Alcohol and drug use, risk-taking behavior, and poor judgment are all factors in injuries during deer season. 

Accidents can happen when people become complacent; even experienced hunters can let their guard down. 

Watch Out for Deer on the Roads

Besides starvation, coyotes, wolf attacks, and hunting, vehicle collisions are a major source of deer fatalities. According to State Farm, Alabama drivers have a 1 in 88 chance of hitting an animal on the road, and most of the 1.96 million animal collisions involve deer.

According to Alabama regulations, you must not hunt or shoot a gun within 50 yards of any public road or highway. You cannot harvest a deer within 50 yards of a public roadway.

Based on reported deer strikes, motorists should know:

  • Approximately 350,000 deer die annually from such accidents, and in Alabama, most collisions occur between 5 and 7 am or between 5 and 9 pm. These are also the main commute times, especially during the holiday season. 
  • Money Geek reports deer/vehicle accidents cause up to 200 fatalities and 10,000 injuries every year.
  • Deer travel in packs. If you see one crossing the road, slow down or stop because others are likely following. Mating season in the fall may cause a spike in deer collisions.
  • Most deer/auto collisions occur in rural areas on two-lane country roads traveling between 51- to – 55 mph at night. The average insurance claim is about $2,000.
  • Deer/vehicle collisions peak during the first weeks of November and the last week of October.
  • A driver can see the deer up to 20 feet ahead unless there is a bend in the road. Dusk and dawn see the most deer activity, a time when visibility is the poorest.
  • Most fatalities to drivers occur when the driver swerves to miss the deer and, instead, collides with a roadside object or oncoming car. 
  • You are advised to use your high-beam headlights when you can. If you see a deer, slow down and use your horn to scare them away from the road. Do not swerve, as you can be injured, and it can confuse the deer. 
  • A deer crossing is so named because it is a frequent spot for deer activity or accidents.
  • Wear a seatbelt. Being thrown from the vehicle is a significant cause of traumatic head injury.
  • Driving in the lane farthest from the shoulder of the road will keep you the maximum distance for any deer that dart out of the woods. 
  • Turn down the radio and cell phone – Distractions could mean you do not see an animal in time to react.
  • Ensure your car is in good working order –headlights are adjusted to see a deer ahead on the road, and wiper blades are new. Tires should have the proper pressure so you can stop suddenly if necessary. The brakes should also be fully functional.

Your Alabama Car Accident Attorney

If you are involved in a collision with a deer, attorney Chip Nix reminds you to turn on your hazard lights, call 911, and stay away from the deer. Check your vehicle for damage and take photos of the accident site.

If property damage and injuries occur, you must remain on the scene of a collision. 

Mr. Nix is an experienced personal injury attorney who has spent decades negotiating with insurance companies following an auto accident. Since Alabama is a fault-based state, victims must seek recovery from the other side’s insurance company. The car that swerved is more likely to be found responsible for the accident.

With Daylight savings, we are all spending more time behind the wheel in the dark, which increases challenges on the road.

Call the law office of Attorney Chip Nix if you have experienced a collision with a deer or have any questions about your personal injury and auto accident.  

A complimentary consultation is one call away at 334-203-6669. 



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