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How to Avoid Hitting Deer on the Road

Avoid Hitting Deer

Deer, though they may be cute, pose an imminent threat to drivers.  They often get startled and can run into the road without warning.  In the United States, the deer population continues to increase and the danger of hitting a deer is rising as well.  According to the III, the average cost per collision claim is approximate $2,800.  The cost of a claim increases to $10,000 when factoring in bodily injury.  In total, deer collisions cause $1.1 billion in vehicle damage every year.  Practicing defensive driving can reduce the chances of hitting a deer on the road.  These tips will help you avoid a deer, or other animals, on the road:

  • The highest risk times are during dusk to dawn. Be attentive for deer and other animals during these late hours.
  • Be attentive when driving through wooded areas or agricultural fields, areas with a known deer population, and deer crossing zones. Because deer are prey, they often like to hide in tall grass or woods.  However, this makes it difficult for drivers to see them approaching.
  • Look out for a yellow deer crossing sign. They denote areas of high deer population.  Slow down and be on the lookout.
  • Deer usually move in groups. If you see one, there are probably more in the area.  Keep an eye out for them.
  • If you are driving at night, use high beams when possible. You will be able to see up to 250 feet further.  Of course, do not use high beams if there is oncoming traffic.
  • If you see a deer, stop and blow your horn to frighten it.
  • If a deer suddenly appears, brake but do not swerve to avoid it.  Many accidents happen because the driver was attempting to avoid the deer, but they lose control or hit another car.
  • Remember to always wear your seatbelt. Many preventable injuries occur because the people in the car were not wearing seatbelts.
  • Never drink and drive.
  • Devices like deer whistles are not proven to deter deer. Do not rely on them to deter deer from running into the road.

 

If you do happen to hit a deer, do not touch it.  Get your car off the road, if possible, and contact the police.  Call your insurance agent to make sure you have auto insurance coverage for this situation before it happens.  Deer collisions can cause damage and injury and insurance can help cover some of the costs that may arise.

Speak to your agent or call us at 888.754.8299.  Feel free to pop by our office in Amherst, MA to address any questions or concerns!

 

Sources:
The Insurance Information Institute: Avoiding Deer-Car Collisions
Jalopnik: How to Avoid Hitting a Deer With Your Car

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