When it's daylight standard time, drivers in Louisiana will want to watch out for wildlife on the road. The shorter days mean less visibility for wildlife, which are most active between dusk and dawn. This period also coincides with autumn, the peak mating season for deer and a time when bears roam for food before hibernation.
Wildlife-related accidents are common in many states. For example, an average of 3,300 wildlife collisions are reported each year to the Colorado Department of Transportation, costing drivers over $3,400 in vehicle damage on average. November, says the Colorado DOT, is always the worst month.
For this reason, experts are advising drivers to take several precautions. Watch for warning signs placed on the roadside. When entering wildlife-heavy regions, maintain moderate speeds in order to facilitate reaction time and shorten braking distance. Be on the lookout for shining eyes on the side of the road. When wildlife steps onto the road, stop, honk the horn, and flash the headlights; this also warns other drivers. Always assume that an animal is not alone and wait for any others to appear.
Wearing a safety belt is also essential. The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration has stated that safety belts can reduce the risk of serious injuries and death by half.
There will be drivers, though, who will not follow these instructions. For example, someone may panic, swerve away from wildlife, and cause a head-on accident in the other lane. In such cases, victims would have a clear reason for filing a personal injury claim. They may want to have a lawyer assess the claim. The lawyer may then be able to hire investigators to build the case before handling negotiations with the other driver's insurance company.