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Deer in headlights causes eight-mile backup

By Ken Gibson on September 10, 2017

Virginia has thousands of miles of rugged woodland, most of it teeming with wildlife. This is one of the many reasons the Old Dominion is a favorite of sportsmen nationwide.

It’s also the reason that motorists in our Commonwealth have to remain intensely vigilant as they navigate Virginia’s roadways. This was illustrated by a semi-truck accident that occurred recently on I-64 in Goochland County.

The big rig’s operator was trying to avoid hitting a deer when he veered off the interstate around 9:50 in the morning, according to Virginia State Police. The truck’s driver and passenger suffered minor injuries, and the deer was unharmed.

But the accident caused a traffic backup of up to eight miles at one point, and the road wasn’t completely opened until around 8 p.m. Police do not plan to charge the semi-truck’s driver, and the deer could not be charged because it fled the scene.

The cost of “doing business” with wildlife

Fortunately, no major injuries happened in this incident, but collisions with wildlife can cause major injuries and death. Deer-and-car collisions cause approximately 200 human deaths and $4 billion in vehicle damage each year, according to the Insurance Journal.

And it’s not just deer. Other Virginia species like bear, coyote, and feral swine can cause serious traffic accidents. Domestic animals can also be dangerous for motorists. Escaped cows, horses, and pigs can become large, moving obstacles if they wander onto roadways.

Can you avoid these collisions?

Here are a few simple tips that can help you avoid these types of collisions. But because animals are wild, we can’t 100-percent guarantee their success.

  • Watch the road farther ahead.
  • Scan the sides of the road, including shoulders and wooded areas.
  • Notice “animal crossing” warning signs.
  • If there’s poor visibility, slow down a little.
  • Don’t swerve wildly and end up hurting someone else, just to avoid an animal.

If you have been injured in an accident caused by a wild or domestic animal, you may be able to recover your losses for medical bills, lost wages, vehicle damage, and more.

To find out who could be responsible for your accident—for example, the farmer who failed to fix his fence and let cattle wander into the roadway—speak to an experienced Virginia car accident attorney. The legal team at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys can answer your questions. Call (804) 413-6777 for a free consultation.

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