“Oh Deer” it’s that time again…
Cars and deer can be a lethal combination. Deer migration generally runs from October through December, and causes a dramatic increase in the movement of the deer population. As a result,more deer-vehicle collisions occur in this period than at any other time of year, so drivers need to be especially cautious, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).
The Insurance Information Institute estimates that there are more than 1.6 million deer-vehicle collisions each year, resulting in over $3.6 billion in vehicle damage. An additional billion dollars is spent on medical payments for injuries to people in the car and out-of-pocket expenses paid by vehicle owners, bringing the total cost to approximately $4.6 billion. The average claim for deer-vehicle collisions is $3,000, with costs varying depending on the type of vehicle and severity of damage.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to decrease the likelihood of being involved in a deer vehicle collision.
The following facts can be helpful tips in avoiding deer-related collisions
When driving, the I.I.I. recommends taking the following precautions
- Deer are not just found on rural roads near wooded areas, many deer crashes occur on busy highways near cities.
- Deer are unpredictable, especially when faced with glaring headlights, blowing horns and fast moving vehicles. They often dart into traffic.
- Deer often move in groups. If you see one, there are likely to be more in the vicinity.
In the event your vehicle strikes a deer, try to avoid going near or touching the animal. A frightened and wounded deer can hurt you or further injure itself, warned the I.I.I. If the deer is blocking the roadway and poses a danger to other motorists, you should call the police immediately. Contact your insurance agent or company representative as quickly as possible to report any damage to your car.
- Drive with caution when moving through deer-crossing zones, in areas known to have a large deer population and in areas where roads divide agricultural fields from forestland.
- Always wear your seat belt. IIHS reports that in a study of fatal animal crashes, 60 percent of people killed were not wearing a seatbelt. Sixty-five percent of people killed riding motorcycles were not wearing a helmet.
- When driving at night, use high beam headlights when there is no oncoming traffic. The high beams will better illuminate the eyes of deer on or near the roadway.
- Be especially attentive from sunset to midnight and during the hours shortly before or after sunrise. These are the highest risk times for deer-vehicle collisions.
- Brake firmly when you notice a deer in or near your path, but stay in your lane. Many serious crashes occur when drivers swerve to avoid a deer and hit another vehicle or lose control of their cars.
- Do not rely on devices such as deer whistles, deer fences and reflectors to deter deer. These devices have not been proven effective.
Collision with a deer or other animals is covered under the comprehensive portion of your automobile policy.
Contact the LEE ANN MILLER TEAM to help you contact an insurance agent today!