Top 3 Tips For Reducing Deer-Related Auto Accidents

Jan 10, 2021 | Personal Insurance

Knowing what to do can help you manage a situation such as accidentally hitting a deer or turning your way around to avoid them can save so many lives out there. As the deer population growth and urban habitats continue to encroach on rural environments, there has been an increase in deer and auto collisions with a high number of fatalities. We can’t deny the fact that it is very dangerous and risky if you don’t take this matter seriously. 

Here are the top 3 tips for reducing deer-related vehicle accidents. These tips can help you be ready for unexpected deer encounters when you hit the road.

BE SMART

Before hitting the road, you should consider researching when or what season you want to travel because there are times where deers are often active and can cause you some trouble along the roads. Understanding the deer’s behavior can help you avoid accidents such as hitting one. When it comes to mating season there are some differences between the male and female deers. The season when deers breed is called the “rut”. Rut usually occurs in October and begins actively looking for mates, but some bucks come into a rut by December which is usually the younger or the weaker ones. It is possible to advance the onset of the breeding season in bucks by controlling the melatonin levels. While the female deer are short-day breeders so they generally come into estrus in the fall specifically from October to December. There is also seasonality in breedings when it comes to different species of deers such as Whitetail deer that can be found in the U.S and South America where females heat for 24 hours from November until December. While deer and auto collision usually appears during any time of the year, fall breeding season is the peak time where they are more active because of the broad shoulders in the highway, which usually provide green food both during severely dry times and after a long hard winter. Like per day, deers are often most active at dawn and dusk usually on the side of the road during the early morning and the late evening. The majority of deer and auto accidents usually occur in the MidWest according to an analysis of claims from 2006-2018 by the Highway Loss Data Institute.

BE ALERT

Deer migration and mating season cause a dramatic increase in the movement of the deers’ population where more and more deer and auto accidents occur over half a million a year, so drivers need to be very cautious. There are about one million auto collisions annually that involve deer and auto accidents killing about 200 people in the process compared to sharks about 1 person a year and a bear who’s 28 in the past decade that costs about 6,000-10,000 dollars depending on the situation and the property damage and human fatalities.

  • If you somehow stumbled across a deer, expect a pack nearby because deers often move in groups and are very careful because deers are very unpredictable especially when faced with glaring headlights, blowing horns, and fast-moving vehicles.
  • When moving through deer-crossing zones where deer populations are large, as well as areas where the roads between agricultural fields and forest lands are divided, drive safely.
  • Always remember to wear your seatbelts for your safety because most people injured in deer and auto accidents were not wearing their seatbelts.
  • Consider using high beam headlights at night because the higher light the better to light up the eyes of deer on and off the road.
  • If you stumbled across a deer, slow down and stay on your path but if it’s too late, brake firmly if you can, and if you manage just wait and observe the deer if it will cross or stay in its position before moving on. Do not swerve, because swerving can result in losing control of your vehicle that may lead to hitting an object such as rocks, trees, or another vehicle. So long as it’s not dazzled by your headlight the deer should recognize the danger and leap to avoid you.
  • Look out for the deer or wild animal warning signs that mean to slow down and when you see one drive as if the deer encounter is inevitable or try blowing your horn to frighten the deer away.
  • In any case that you may have hit a deer, it’s not advisable to approach the scared and injured animal because they might react in another way and can hurt or attack you or hurt themselves further.
  • Do not rely on deer-deterrent devices, because deer whistles and other deer-deterrent devices have not been proven to reduce deer and auto accidents as of now.

LEARN WHAT TO DO

Most accidents involving deers happen absolutely without warning. One second, the road is clear but with the blink of an eye, there’s a deer in front of your vehicle and you’re going to hit it. Of course, you will be in shock if that somehow happens and that is natural. So before anything else, you must stay calm and compose yourself. But what will you do if you hit or collided with a deer? 

Because deers can be big and heavy that’s why they’re such a risk to motorists now you have dealt with the immediate impact and safety next is to:
Move your car.


First, if your car is significantly damaged, move your vehicle to a safe place. Pullover to the side off the road and turn on your hazard lights if possible. If you must leave your vehicle, stay off the road to avoid further collisions.

Call the police.

Tell the authorities if the deer is blocking the road, creating traffic, or threats and hazard to other motorists. If the collision somehow results in an injury or property damage, you may need to fill out an official report which can be useful when filing your insurance claim.

Document everything.

Document the incident and if it’s safe to do so, take photographs of the roadway, your surroundings, the damage and injuries your passengers sustained.

Call a tow or recovery service.

You may consider calling the recovery service after the police and if somehow your car only has superficial damage it’s still a good idea to get your can to the garage as soon as possible. The deer may have damaged your car in ways that aren’t immediately obvious and it is best to always make sure to avoid further damage.

Call your insurance provider.

Contact your insurance right away because the sooner you report damage or injuries the sooner your insurer can file and process your claim. Make an honest statement on what happened and tell your insurer all the details even if you don’t intend to claim on your policy because most insurance policies demand that you have to tell your insurers every time you’re involved, in any sort of accidents, and if you somehow failed to inform your insurer, it could invalidate your policy.

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT COVERAGE FROM THE START

Before the collision occurs make sure you’re protected with the insurance you need. Damages from deer and auto collisions are typically covered under comprehensive insurance, not collision. 

Comprehensive coverage may help pay to fix or replace your car if it was damaged after you hit a deer. Your vehicle must make physical contact or collision enable to be covered by your comprehensive insurance under your policy while swerving to avoid a deer and accidentally hit or crash to an object will be considered covered by your collision coverage. Hitting other objects such as trees and rocks resulting in damage to your vehicle is different when you hit the random and unpredictable act of a deer dashing across the road.

Comprehensive coverage also helps you to cover damage to your vehicle from accidental and unpredictable incidents such as theft, vandalism which includes hitting a deer. On the other hand, you will have to pay a deductible if you file an auto insurance claim after hitting a deer with your vehicle.

When you purchase comprehensive or collision insurance you will be given a chance to choose a set of deductibles which is the amount you will pay out of pocket toward a covered claim. Let’s say when your car is totaled when you hit a deer, your comprehensive coverage limit would command the maximum amount of your policy would payout to help you with the damage or replace your vehicle.

WE ARE HERE FOR YOU

Every state has its differences regarding its regulations that are related to insurance policies, you may check your insurance agent in Denver, Colorado, or your state. If you ever need help or any clarifications regarding the information above, connect with us right now! Feel free to call us toll-free at 1(720) 221-8168 or chat with us away.