The leaves are falling and once again deer hunting season is upon us. Over 1.5 million Deer vehicle collisions occur every year attributing to 200 human deaths and causing $1.1 billion in property damage every year. Yes… $1.1 BILLION. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the average collision cost for this type of accident is $2,800, with the figure leaping to $10,000 if injury is involved. Nothing is worse than hitting a deer, causing damage to your vehicle and ending a buck ,doe or fawns life unnecessarily.
Here is our top 6 safe driving tips during deer season.
Be aware of your surroundings. Accidents tend to spike from October to December when deer activity rises. Keep a sharp eye out when driving near wooded or open field areas. Usually you can see the deer’s eyes shine from your headlights.
Watch out for yellow deer caution signs. These are signal areas with history of deer related crashes. They were put there for a reason, so be extra vigilant in these areas.
Use High beams whenever possible. Deer tend to travel in groups so you can be certain that when you see the shine of one set of eyes, there are going to be more.
Avoid Spotlighting. Steady, bright lights can mesmerize deer so if you see one frozen on the road, slow down and flash your lights. Some experts recommend one long blast of the horn to scare them out of the road, as well.
Be mindful of the time of day. At night, most especially during the dusk and dawn hours, deer are much harder to see, and therefore easier to hit.
Have an accident plan. If you do hit a deer and have an accident and someone is injured call for medical help. Do not attempt to touch or move deer on the roadway. According to Maryland DNR you should contact the police IF the accident has caused significant damage either personally or to your vehicle.
These few steps can help you get through deer season accident free!! If by chance you do hit a deer, call the police to report the accident so you can file an insurance claim without any problems. If the damage is minimal and the deer ran away typically the police do not need to be involved, but take pictures so if you want to file an insurance claim you have evidence of the incident.
Let one of our Insurance Architects help you build the perfect auto policy so if an accident like a deer strike does occur, you can rest assured your covered.