Any experienced motorcyclist will tell you that one of the keys to safe riding is always being aware of your surroundings, including not just the road ahead and behind, but also the roadsides.
Indeed, this latter point is especially important during the autumn months, as there is an elevated risk of deer suddenly darting out into the road, completely oblivious to the threat posed by oncoming traffic.
While a collision with a deer can be traumatic, costly and even harmful to those behind the wheels of passenger vehicles, they can be fatal to those behind the handlebars of motorcycles, as they are lacking the protection afforded by seatbelts, airbags and a surrounding steel cage.
According to figures from insurance giant State Farm, the chances of being involved in any sort of deer-vehicle collision here in Illinois were fairly good in 2014, with one out of every 211 motorists reporting a deer strike, a 1.4 percent increase from 2013.
While statistics are unavailable from either State Farm or the Illinois Department of Transportation on the number of motorcyclists who collided with deer in 2014, consider that neighboring Wisconsin saw 10 people killed in deer-vehicle accidents last year and eight of them were riding motorcycles.
If you’re perhaps wondering why our blog is even discussing this topic in the middle of summer, consider that the last three months have seen three motorcyclists here in Illinois lose their lives after colliding with deer. Indeed, experts say that this time of the year can be especially dangerous as many young deer are leaving their mothers and starting to venture out on their own.
Fortunately, there are some basic steps that motorcyclists can take to protect themselves from deer-related collisions not just now, but throughout the year:
- Always obey the speed limit
- Always scan your surroundings
- Always use bright headlights to see the road ahead
- Always be aware of surroundings
- Always wear the appropriate safety gear
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a motorcycle accident caused by the reckless conduct of another driver, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional to learn more about your rights and your options.