Two Missouri residents were involved in a car accident arising out of a deer-crossing incident on the evening of June 20, 2012 on Missouri Route 6 in Daviess County. The time of the accident was at 9:37pm.
Sandra S. Smith of St. Joseph, Missouri was driving westbound on Route 6 in a 2006 Dodge Caravan shortly before the accident. A 2001 Suzuki Vitara driven by Brandon K. Curtis of Gallatin, Missouri was also driving westbound on Route 6. Smith slowed down when she encountered a lone deer that was crossing the roadway. Curtis did not slow down in time and ended up striking Smith’s vehicle in the rear. Both drivers directed their vehicles to the westbound shoulder of Route 6. Both vehicles sustained moderate damage due to the collision. The investigation report did not mention whether or not Smith’s vehicle ended up striking the deer as a result of the accident.
Both drivers were assisted by Missouri State Highway Patrol, Daviess County Sheriff’s Department, Gallatin Fire Department, and Kaw Fire Department. They determined that both drivers sustained minor injuries due to the accident. Curtis was transported to Liberty Hospital in Liberty, Missouri by a private vehicle. Smith was similarly transported to Heartland Regional Medical Center.
In rural areas of Missouri, deer-crossings are very likely to happen at random moments. The state often puts deer-crossing signs up to warn drivers that deer presence on the roadway is possible and that drivers should remain vigilant while driving. Hitting a deer can potentially cause severe damage to a motorist’s vehicle and insurance companies may differ on how and when they would provide coverage in these kinds of situations. However, this is not the only risk that deer-crossing poses for Missouri motorists. Deer-crossing can potentially affect the flow of traffic on a given roadway and can affect multiple drivers. If one driver yields to a deer but the traffic behind also does not drive with the same car, a Missouri rear-end collision accident is likely to occur. Such accidents can also result in minor, serious, or even fatal injuries for accident victims.
The Missouri Department of Revenue has disclosed some tips for avoiding Missouri “Deer-Vehicle Accidents.” They suggest drivers to remain alert and cautious while approaching areas marked with deer crossing signs. They also note that deer usually cross either after sunset or around sunrise. Additionally, they note that deer often travel in groups and that there is always a possibility that there are more deer near the roadway than a driver may spot. Finally, they note that swerving or coming to a sudden stop is dangerous and can endanger fellow motorists.
Keep in mind that the Department of Revenue’s suggestions all conform with legal driving rules in Missouri requiring motorists to adhere to road signs and to drive in a careful and safe manner according to Statute