According to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there are about 1.5 million deer-vehicle collisions on U.S. roads every year, which result to vehicle damage amounting to at least $ 1.1 billion. When you hit a deer, it not only causes in vehicle damage and animal harm, but it could also result to fatality; in 2015, 189 people died of motor vehicle collision with animals.
What to do when my car hits a deer?
- Check yourself and your passengers for injuries. Your safety must be a priority.
- Move your car off the road and turn your hazard lights on.
- Take a photo of the incident.
- Do not touch the injured animal. Threatened animals are more powerful and can cause you more harm.
- Just like any accident, report the incident to the police. Also inform them if the animal is blocking the road, as this could be a threat to other drivers.
- Call your insurance company, so that you could file a claim.
What could be done to avoid vehicle-deer crash?
- Be informed – October through December are the months with the most deer-vehicle collisions. This is due to the fact that within these months, deers are in their mating and migrating season, causing a dramatic rise in movement of the deer population. Also, they are nocturnal animals, so pay closest attention at night.
- Slow down and step on the brake – If you see a deer crossing the road, expect to see more because they come in groups called herds. An encounter with this wild animal on the road requires you to step on the brake.
- Don’t use deer whistles – IIHS found out that whistles don’t affect deer behavior.
- Use your safety belts – Buckle up to minimize the risk in a collision.
Will the damage be covered by my insurance?
If you availed comprehensive and collision coverage, rest assured that you will be covered. A damage done to your car by animals is considered comprehensive and you will only need to pay a certain deductible to have your car repaired without a major impact on your driving record or your insurance premium.
To know more about your coverage, please contact our friendly insurance agents.