Accidents involving animals (the four-legged kind) have occurred on California roads with worrisome regularity in recent years—and CA motorcycle accidents with deer are the most common. In addition, among motorcyclists, deer have been noted as the cause for the most serious motorcycle-versus-animal crashes.
Within the past few months, several such accidents have reportedly been caused in California by deer. One recent accident occurred on October 26th, 2010 in the Merced area; a 47-year-old motorcyclist died after crashing into an animal, thought to be a deer, which had darted into the roadway in front of his 1982 Honda motorcycle. The force of the impact caused the biker to lose control. (Story in the Merced Sun-Star)
And, as reported on August 4th, 2010 in Siskiyou County, a 61-year-old man riding a 2002 Harley Davidson motorcycle was seriously injured on State Route 96 near Portuguese Creek when a deer jumped from the roadside into the motorcycle’s path. The rider was unable to avoid striking the animal, and was ejected from his bike; the deer was killed. (News Story in Siskiyou Daily)
What to do when a deer is in the road
The key to avoiding an accident with a deer is what the motorcyclist does before encountering the animal– Basic safety measures such as wearing a helmet, riding at a speed appropriate for the circumstances, and other basic safety rules are always the first preparation.
California Motor Vehicle Code (Code 21759 ) requires that operators of vehicles to take special care to avoid accidents with deer and other animals in the roadway: The commonsense viewpoint is that humans are responsible for avoiding animals in the roadway, not vice versa.
When traveling through deer-inhabited areas, the CA motorcyclist should slow down and be especially vigilant in places where thick woods or brush are found close to the roadway. If an animal is encountered in the roadway, the biker should be extremely cautious in passing it. Deer have a habit of “springing” unexpectedly, whether from the side of the road into traffic, or when already standing in the roadway and become “spooked.”
If necessary, the motorcyclist may stop and park on the shoulder, yet at all times the basic rules of the road should be followed. Under no circumstances should a rider stop in a traffic lane to observe an animal; always make sure that the rider and the bike are safely off the road and out of traffic lanes.
No matter how your CA motorcycle accident occurs, you may find yourself in need of an experienced and skilled motorcycle accident attorney. If you have suffered injuries in a California motorcycle crash, our skilled California motorcycle attorneys can help you. Whether your accident occurred in Santa Rosa, Oakland, Los Angeles, Bakersfield, or any other city in California, call us at 1-800-4-BIKERS today for a free consultation.
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