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Deer-Vehicle Collisions

According to The Standard (October 26, 2012) the Insuarance Information Institute (III) has reported a rise in deer-vehicle collisions: 8% increase over the last 4 years.

Damage caused by an accident with deer or other animals is coverd under Comprehensive coverage, not Collision.  These accidents cause about 200 human  fatalities in the United States annually.  Drivers should be aware of the following:

  • Deer are not just found on rural roads near wooded areas – many deer crashes occur on busy highways near cities.
  • Deer are unpredictible, 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 more in the area.

Some precautions to take while driving:

  • Drive with caution when driving through deer-crossing zones, in areas  known to have a large deer population and where roads divide agricultural fields from forestland.
  • Always take safety precautions, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety(IIHS) reports:
    • Sixty percent of people killed in an animal crash were not wearing a seatbelt.
    • Sixty-five percent of people killed in animal related crashes while riding motorcycles were not wearing a helmet.
  • When driving at night use highbeams (when there is not oncoming traffic) to better illuminate the eyes of any deer on or near the road.
  • Be especially attentive from sunset to midnight and during the hours just before and after sunrise.
  • Brake firmly but stay in your lane when you see a deer ahead of you – many serious crashes result from drivers swerving away from a deer and hitting other vehicles.
  • Do not rely on devices such as deer whistles, deer fences and reflectors to deter deer, they have not been found to be effective.
  • Do not approach an injured deer in the road, a frightened and wounded deer can hurt people and further injure itself.
  • If the deer is blocking the roadway and poses a danger, call the police immediately.

*Even if it is the deer’s fault, it will not pay your deductible.

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