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Fall Season Brings Wild Animals and Increased Risks of Fatal Car Accidents in Massachusetts

A wild bear is taking all of the blame for a recent fatal car accident that sent seven motorists to the hospital, according to the Boston Herald. The two-vehicle accident happened at approximately 11:00 p.m. on Route 16. It all happened when a 225 pound bear strolled onto the roadway. An SUV swerved to avoid hitting the animal and ran into a passenger vehicle, which held a Winthrop and a Boston occupant. Rescue crews at the scene had to use the Jaws of Life to extract passengers from the mess. The three SUV passengers were taken to hospitals and are believed to be in stable condition while the two Massachusetts motorists were taken to Maine Medical Center and are believed to be in stable condition.
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According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there are more than 1.5 million car accidents in Massachusetts and elsewhere throughout the United States that involve deer or other large animals. The months of October through December typically mark deer season although you’re are at risk of hitting a wild animal all year long. It is during this time of year that we see many wild animal-car accidents, more than any other time of the year. For this reason, you should be extra careful when driving near forested areas or on any roadway where deer are prone to roam.

Our Boston personal injury attorneys would like to ask motorists to be extra cautious when traveling from the middle of fall all the way until the beginning of winter because this is typically when we see the most deer and wild animals near our Massachusetts roadways. This advice is especially important during dawn and dusk hours as these are times when animals are most likely to wander. It is also important to remember that animals don’t travel alone, so if you see one there’s likely to be more.

The more than 1.5 million car accidents we experience every year with wild animals in the United States cost about $1 billion in vehicle damage. Roughly 150 human lives are lost and another 10,000 injuries are sustained as a result of these accidents each year. We believe that these statistics are actually higher than reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration because it’s assumed that not all incidents are reported.

Safe driving tips to avoid a car accident with a wild animal if you see one on the roadway:

-Avoid hitting the animal at all costs. If you plow through, you’re putting yourself in danger. Motorists can die in traffic accidents with wild animals.

-Turn off your head lights. They’re likely to be less shocked when you turn off your lights and will be more likely to jump out of the way just from the sound of your vehicle.

-If you can’t avoid a collision, at least try not to hit the animal straight on. Striking the animal at an angle will give it a greater chance of spinning away from your cars path.

-Try to slow your vehicle as much as possible as you’re approaching it. Hopefully this will allow the animal more time to get out of the way.

-Stay in your lane. Swerving to miss the animal is how a lot of people get into accidents with other vehicles. Do all that you can not to make a bad situation even worse.

-As contradictory as this sounds, speed up at the last possible moment. By speeding up, your vehicle’s front bumper will lift up and will reduce the chances of the animal hitting the vehicle and being sent over the top of the car.

If you or a loved one has been in a car accident in the Boston area, contact Massachusetts Car Accident Attorney Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 1-877-617-5333.

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Young Skateboarder Killed by Hit-and-Run Driver in Massachusetts Car Accident, Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog, August 12, 2011

Small Child Overlooked in Massachusetts Backup Car Accident, Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog, August 10, 2011