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Motorcycle Accidents: Deer and Motorcycles Don’t Mix

By Evan L. Kaine

The cooler fall temperatures will be here before we know it; which means driving conditions and road hazards will change. Deer jumping into the path of a vehicle can cause one of the many road hazards. However, not enough discussion has been geared towards motorcyclists being vulnerable to this type of danger.

When a car is involved in an accident with a deer, the driver and passengers (more often than not) can walk away unharmed, as the car will take most of the beating. Unfortunately, a motorcycle rider is extremely vulnerable, as the driver doesn’t have the same protection (or cage) as a car. If you or someone you know rides (especially this fall season), it may be helpful to take into consideration the following tips:

  1. Focus On The Road and Your Surroundings During the Early Morning

Deer tend to gallop their way across highways during dawn and dusk. During deer season, it is important to keep your eyes focused on the road when the sky is dark or the sun is rising and setting.

  1. If You See A Deer, You Will Likely See More

Deer travel in herds. Once you see one, there is a high likelihood that you will see more. As soon as you see one deer, reduce your speed and continue to check the sides of the road.

  1. Wear A Helmet

Wearing a helmet saves lives—whether it is deer season or not. Make sure that your helmet meets all safety standards and fits properly.

  1. If A Crash is Unavoidable, Do Not Swerve

This is a common mistake motorcyclists make. Because deer are so unexpected and don’t know where they are going—it is highly important not to swerve as you will likely do more damage than good. It is important for your bike to be stabilized and balanced at all times so jerking one way or the other could be deadly.

  1. Anti-Lock Brake Motorcycles are Helpful

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, having anti-lock brakes provides better control of a motorcycle. The ABS prevents motorcycles’ wheels from locking up in a hard, quick brake. 

  1. If Riding In A Group—Spread Out

If you are riding in a group of two or more people, it is imperative to spread out. Do not ride side by side as a deer could cause all riders to crash into one another. You can never predict what another motorcyclists will do if/when a deer jumps out, so giving adequate space is crucial.

Motorcyclists should always drive defensively. However, the fall season places an extra level of threat to riders as deer can cause more problems on roadways. Be on the lookout and take your time when riding.

For more information on this article, contact Kaine Law.

Published September 20, 2016


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