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Mating season can result in deer-related crashes

The months of October through December can be particularly hazardous to Georgia motorists, but not for the reasons you might think. Is it because of snowfall that makes roads slippery and dangerous? Not here in the South, where the temperatures remain mild. How about drivers who have had too much to drink at their holiday celebrations? Drunk drivers do pose a threat, but that's not the one we're talking about:

In the state of Georgia, October to December is deer mating season.

And safety experts say that during this season, deer can be particularly likely to cause car accidents.

According to a recent study from insurance provider State Farm, the odds of drivers colliding with a deer are much higher in Georgia than in other states. The study found that nationwide, one in 162 drivers filed an insurance claim for a collision involving a deer, elk, moose or caribou. For Georgia drivers, that number is one out of 122-much higher than the national average.

The scientists cite Georgia's rapid growth in combination with the whitetail deer population's high movement in the fall and winter months as the cause for the higher rate of crashes. During mating season, whitetail herds have an unusually high rate of movement. That means a greater frequency of deer moving around Georgia's motorways.

The researchers offered a few tips for drivers to avoid deer-related collisions:

· Drive slowly at dawn and dusk

· Where there is one deer crossing, more are likely to follow

· Respect and pay attention to deer crossing signs

· Always wear a seatbelt

· High beams can help you see deer that are farther away

· Do not swerve to avoid a deer. Brake if you can, but swerving can be dangerous.

· Scan the road for animals

· Do not drive distracted, as this could make you miss seeing an animal

· Don't use deer whistles, as they are not proven to work effectively

It may not be possible to sue a deer for an accident, but you might still have legal recourse for an injury from a deer-related crash. If a driver failed to take due caution and it resulted in a crash involving a deer, you could have grounds for a lawsuit. Consult a personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options.

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