“Drive safe and watch out for the deer!”
Deer season can be a dangerous time for drivers and deer alike. In fact, did you know that according to the Insurance Information Institute, 1.6 million deer vs. vehicle collisions occur each year? This results in 200 fatalities, thousands of injuries, and over $3.6 billion in vehicle damage. That’s a lot of money for a run-in with Bambi.
The stats don’t lie, and while it’s not always their fault (or yours), one look at these numbers shows just how dangerous hitting a deer can be. So, how can you avoid it? Check out the following tips.
5 Tips to Avoid Hitting A Deer
- Use Your Headlights
One of the best ways to avoid hitting a deer at night is to utilize your headlights. It’s a law to have your headlights on at night, but you may also be able to spot a deer because their eyes will reflect a car’s headlights. It’s also smart to watch out for ‘deer crossing’ road signs, as they’re placed in areas that are known to have high deer traffic.
- Watch for the Rest
Did you know that deer travel in packs? These animals are rarely alone, so if a deer crosses in front of you, or you spot one on the side of the road, chances are there are more nearby. Slow down and keep your eyes out for more deer traveling across the road.
- Stay In the Center
When driving on a multi-lane road, it’s best to keep towards the center lane to avoid deer collision. This gives extra space for a deer to bolt if your car startles them, and gives you more time to react.
- Hit the Breaks
If you see a deer coming from the sidelines out towards the road, hit your breaks calmly and firmly. Most importantly, stay in your lane! Swerving could make you lose control of your vehicle and make the situation worse.
- Honk Your Horn
Some believe that a long honk of the horn will scare a deer off the road. However, deer remain unpredictable creatures, so don’t rely on your horn to scare them off.
What to Do if You Hit a Deer
You’ve hit a deer, now what? If all else fails and you happen to hit a deer, take the following steps.
- Pull off to the side of the road.
- Turn on your hazard lights, be sure to stay in the vehicle until it’s safe to exit.
- Call an emergency service if injuries are involved. Call the police if there’s any property damage.
- No matter what, stay away from the deer. If alive, the deer could be confused and dangerous.
- Let the authorities know that a deer is on the road so it can be quickly removed.
- Contact your insurance agent as soon as possible to report any damage to your vehicle.
Want to make sure that your vehicle is covered in case of an animal accident? Make sure that you have comprehensive coverage included in your auto insurance policy.
Need to check your policy, or increase your coverage? Contact a trusted agent today to review your current insurance policies, and see what adjustments can be made to save you money in the event of an accident.