State Patrol Vehicle Hit While Responding to Deer Car Accident on I-5 South of Bellingham
According to a report by the Bellingham Herald, a vehicle struck a deer just after 6 a.m. this morning near the North Lake Samish exit of southbound I-5. The accident blocked the left lane of southbound traffic and caused a backup for more than two and a half hours when a Washington State Patrol vehicle who responded to the scene was hit by a passing driver. The patrol vehicle was empty when it was struck and nobody was injured in the crash. The backup was cleared by 9 a.m.
Deer car accident statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are approximately 1.5 million deer, elk and moose-car accidents in the United States every year. One-hundred-fifty to 200 of those collisions result in a human fatality and over 10,000 are injured every year. The majority of these accidents happen between October and December. The average damage to a car or truck is $3,103 and the total cost of property damage is estimated at $1.1 billion annually. Deer populations have been growing while being simultaneously displaced by urban sprawl, which is leading to more accidents each year.
How to prevent a deer car accident
The truth is that sometimes it’s impossible to avoid a deer-car accident because the animal jumps out in front of your vehicle, seemingly out of nowhere. The most important thing to do in this situation is to hold onto your steering wheel tightly, slow down (without slamming on the breaks) and avoid swerving. After the accident, pull off to the side of the road, if possible, and then call the police and your insurance agency.
To the extent that it is possible to avoid this type of collision, here are some tips:
- Stay alert, particularly from dawn to dusk and during the fall/mating and spring seasons when the most deer-car accidents occur.
- Look for deer or elk-crossing signs. Keep an extra lookout and slow down when driving through these areas.
- If you see one deer, there’s a good chance that you will see more.
Filing an accident claim for a deer collision
A car-deer accident will be filed as a comprehensive insurance claim. If you swerve to miss the deer and hit a tree or other barrier, you would need to file a collision claim. The important distinction is that a collision is charged as an accident on your driving record, whereas a comprehensive claim is not.
A car accident involving a deer, elk or moose can be traumatizing and cause extreme personal injury and damage to your vehicle. In some cases, it can even cause a fatality. Clearly, the deer cannot be sued but occasionally another party is responsible for the collision and a personal injury claim can be brought to recover damages.
Seek the help of a car accident attorney
If you or a loved one was injured because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced car accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!