Hunting season has begun and you are likely to see more deer on or alongside roads in the coming days. Due to this, it’s important to be aware of the increased risk deer pose to drivers. You are more than twice as likely to hit a deer in October, November or December than in any other months of the year, with November being the peak. These months are breeding season, which means males are traveling widely in search of females. Some herds also migrate during this time and with the start of hunting season, deer become even more active.
Do you know what to do if you hit a deer?
How to Prepare
The hours from dusk until dawn are when deer are most active and when you are most likely to encounter them on the roads.
Improve your safety with these tips:
1. Be extra careful when driving in areas known to have many deer
2. Deer often move in groups, so if you see one animal, slow down and look for others
3. Use high beams when needed, unless there is oncoming traffic
4. Do not swerve if you are about to hit a deer. Hitting another car or a tree head on could cause even more severe damage.
If a Collision is Inevitable
Sometimes an accident is inevitable no matter how careful you are. Deer can dash out from cover with no warning, giving you no chance to stop. It’s important to know what to do in that case.
If you hit a deer:
1. Move your vehicle off the road and turn on your hazard lights.
2. Do not approach the deer, even if you think it is dead. A wounded animal can become frightened and injure you.
3. Call the police. If you think the animal is alive or it runs from the scene, ask them to send an animal control specialist. They are trained to help move the animal and keep it from suffering if needed.
4. Take pictures of the scene and any injuries to passengers or damage to the vehicle, for insurance purposes.
5. If the animal runs away after the accident, get a picture of any hair or blood on the car to show that a deer was involved.
6. Get contact information from any witnesses, especially if the animal runs off. If witnesses are able to wait, ask them to report what they saw to the police.
7. Even if you think the damage is minimal, check to be sure your vehicle is safe to drive. Look for tire damage, broken lights, fluid leaks or loose parts. You may need to call a tow truck.
Understanding Your Insurance
After hitting a deer, your first question is likely to be if your insurance provider will cover the damages. Unfortunately for some, not understanding your insurance can come back to haunt you. Comprehensive insurance is what covers accidents involving deer, fire damage, and other damages like theft or vandalism. If you only have collision coverage, you could be left paying out of pocket for any needed repairs.
Having the right coverage and the right company makes all the difference. Just call us at 724-929-2300 today. Our friendly agents will help you decided what coverages you need to fit you! We offer a number of different policies, because no two insurance needs are exactly the same. Let us do the comparing for you to ensure you get the best price on coverage that will protect you!