We’ve all heard stories or know someone who’s been in a car accident involving a deer. No matter where you drive… rural roads, suburban neighborhoods, even the highway, you are at risk of hitting a deer. As we continue to take over their habitat, these types of accidents become more and more common. Nationwide, approximately 1.6 million car and deer collisions are reported each year, resulting in over 150 fatalities, thousands of injuries, and $3.6 billion dollars in vehicle damage. So what can you do to limit your risk?
Let’s get started with a few facts
- Auto/deer collisions are most likely to occur during breeding season, from October through January of each year, but can happen at any time of the year.
- Deer are out and about anytime of the day and night, but are most active around dawn and again, from dusk to late evening.
- Deer are pack animals. If you spot a deer by the road, be assured, there are several others close by.
Deer season driving tips to stay safe
- Wear your seatbelt when driving. You may not be able to avoid a crash, but a seatbelt can help you avoid serious injury and save your life. Most fatalities when drivers and/or passengers are unbuckled.
- Slow down and be alert when driving near farmland or wooded areas, and wherever roads cross streams. Even if no “deer crossing” sign is posted, deer may be in the area. Remember that deer are most active between 5am – 8am in the morning, and from dusk to midnight.
- Use your high beams. This won’t necessarily deter deer, but it will allow you to scan the road and area ahead for possible deer. The earlier you spot a deer, the less likely you’ll be to hit one.
- Be especially careful when riding a motorcycle. While only 2% of deer-car collisions result in human fatalities, 85% of deer-motorcycle collisions involve human fatalities. If you’re riding a motorcycle, drive with extreme caution at night.
- Don’t litter! Deer enjoy human food just as much as we do and will be attracted to the roadside when they smell fast food wrappers and containers, apple cores, soda or beer containers, candy wrappers, etc.
- Don’t rely on gadgets or devices to deter deer. Deer whistles, deer fences, and reflectors have never been proven to be effective.
- If you see deer, slow down and stop and wait, if necessary, until the deer have moved away. Do not swerve out of your lane into on-coming traffic or off the road onto the shoulder where you will have a greater chance of being injured or killed. Never veer, hit the deer.
- If you strike a deer, pull your car off to the side of the road and don’t approach it. A frightened, injured deer can further injure itself and you. It also poses a danger to other drivers on the road. Use your flashers, flares, or reflective triangles to alert other drivers. Call the authorities immediately.
- Keep your vehicle maintained and make sure that you repair items that might pose a safety risk. Make sure your tires, brakes and headlights are in good working order.
- If you have a deer-vehicle accident, contact your insurance agent if you have damage to your vehicle or damage to someone else’s property.
Contact Foundation Insurance Group
The insurance professionals at Foundation Insurance Group, located in St. Matthews, serving the greater Louisville metro area, are always happy to review your auto insurance policy, answer questions, and make sure your auto insurance is the right insurance for your situation. Contact our office today to speak to an agent.