Deer / Vehicle Collisions

October 27, 2017

November tends to have the highest insurance claims related to vehicle collisions with animals, according to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety.  These accidents mainly involve collisions with deer.  Be sure to prepare yourself with these tips on how to avoid hitting a deer and what to do if you have an accident. 

So how can you avoid hitting a deer with your auto this November?

The Insurance Information Institute recommends you:

  • Be especially attentive during the time from sunset to midnight and shortly before and after sunrise.  These are the highest risk times for deer-vehicle collisions.
    • With daylight saving time ending on November 5th, more people will be on the roads during these times.
  • Drive with extra caution in areas with deer-crossing zones, with large deer population, and where roads divide farm fields from woods.
  • Drive with your high beam headlights on at night when there?s no oncoming traffic.  High beams help illuminate the eyes of deer near the road.
  • Slow down and blow your horn with one long blast to frighten a deer away from your vehicle.
  • Brake when you notice a deer near your path, but do not swerve into another lane.
  • Always wear your seat belt!
  • Do not rely on deer whistles, deer fences, reflectors, and other such devices that claim to deter deer.  These devices have not been proven to reduce collisions with deer.

Even with these precautions, you could find yourself sharing the road with a deer.  What should you do if you hit a deer?

  • Move your vehicle to a safe place.  If possible, put on your hazard lights.
  • Call the police to report the accident.  Be sure to let the authorities know if the deer is still in the road or injured at the scene.
  • Stay away from the deer to avoid injury.
  • Take pictures of your vehicle and the scene.
  • Take down contact information for any witnesses.
  • Check your vehicle for any damage (i.e. leaks or broken headlights) that could make driving the vehicle dangerous.  You may need to have the vehicle towed.
  • Report the claim to your agent or company representative as soon as possible.

Does your auto insurance cover a collision with a deer?

If you have comprehensive coverage on your auto insurance policy, then you are generally covered for damage to your vehicle from striking an animal.  However, if you swerve to miss a deer and hit another object, like another vehicle or a utility pole, you will need collision coverage on your auto policy to cover damage to your vehicle.

With November around the corner, make sure you?re aware of the increased risk of hitting a deer.  If it does happen, make sure you?re covered by calling your local agent.

Resources

http://www.iihs.org/iihs/sr/statusreport/article/49/9/3

https://www.iii.org/article/avoiding-deer-car-collisions

This blog entry is created for informational purposes only.  Any viewpoint or sponsorship of outside parties involved in the blog entry does not necessarily represent Goodville's stance as a company.  The blog should not be used as a substitute for professional advice.