Fall is one of the most beautiful seasons to be outdoors. However, a few driving hazards come with it. Deer collisions are one of them. The mating and hunting season from October to December make the deer go on the move, which makes it likelier to hit one while driving.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau says that these are the top animal-related claim in the country. Don’t be too worried, though. We have some tips that can help you avoid this accident… and what to do in case you do.
Tips on how to not hit a deer
- Being knowledgeable on where they likely pass through can help you. There are bright yellow marks in areas with a high deer population. While going to your destination, be attentive to the surroundings. If you saw a deer in a certain area in the past, it’s likely for them to pass through there again.
- Be cautious during sunrise and sunset, as these are the deer’s more active hours.
- Utilize your high beams properly. Get better visualization of the road. Added lights will make it easier to spot animals on the road.
- Deer gadgets are nice, but not 100% reliable. Deer fence or whistles are used to scare them away, but don’t rely on them solely. There is no exact science as to they really work.
- If you spot a deer, don’t swerve. It sounds horrid, but hitting the deer may cause less damage than swerving in an attempt to avoid it. You might hit another car in the oncoming traffic.
- Keep a seatbelt on. This protects yourself if you do hit a deer.
- Tell your friends and family about this information. Ask them to be extra careful and attentive. A simple reminder can go a long way.
What to do if you do hit a deer
Sometimes no matter how many precautions we take, you still end up hitting the animal. If that happens, here are things you can do about it.
- Pullover. Make sure the vehicle is in a safe spot. Turn your hazard lights on.
- Don’t go too close to the animal. Even if injured, it may be provoked and hurt you.
- Check the damage. Once you’re out of harm’s way, see if the vehicle is damaged. Take photographs of the damage. Use your better judgment to decide if the car can still operate, if it’s better for someone to pick you up, or if you need a tow service.
- Call for help. Calling animal control or the police may help, depending on the circumstances. A police report is not always mandatory but it can help with evidence, should you need it for insurance. If the deer is still in the way, professional animal control staff, a local fish and wildlife service, or the game commission can move it away to keep everyone safe.
- Check if an insurance claim is needed. Consult an insurance professional to decide which step is best to take, according to your auto insurance policy. Talking to an expert will make the process easier and faster for you.
Does your car insurance cover deer collisions?
You never know when a deer is going to suddenly cross your path – even if you are cautious. If it does, you can check with your insurance company if the claim is covered in your insurance policy to minimize your losses. Always talk to an expert for the best advice possible. Usually, it’s covered under your comprehensive coverage.
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