Last updated on October 23, 2018 at 09:43 am
Cars and deer can be a very dangerous combination – and oftentimes an unexpected one. While most drivers know to be aware of deer all year round, these animals are typically more active beginning in October. Plymouth Rock Assurance has information to help drivers remain vigilant behind the wheel and important driving tips to avoid deer.
Drivers can expect to see an increase in deer movement when the white-tailed deer mating and migration period begins in October. This increased activity will typically run through December.
It’s not uncommon for male deer, or bucks, to weigh in the ballpark of 200 pounds, while females, or does, typically weigh about 155 pounds. Colliding with an animal of that size at even moderate speeds can do serious damage to your car and could prove fatal for both the animal and the driver. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety noted that deer-vehicle collisions in the U.S. cause about 200 fatalities annually.
It is important to remember that deer are wild animals and unpredictable when confronted by the lights and sounds of a car.
Here are some quick tips to remember when confronted with a deer in the road:
- Deer travel in packs, so if you see one there are probably more to follow. Be patient and approach with caution. Keep a safe following distance in case the driver ahead brakes or swerves suddenly.
- Loud noises and flashing lights can cause unpredictable behavior and make the deer run into traffic. Keep calm and approach slowly.
- Just because you are not on a rural road does not mean you can drop your guard. Remain vigilant at all times, as many collisions with deer occur on busy highways, especially at night.
- When traveling at night on a road with no oncoming traffic, use your high beams. This will allow you to see farther, and the beam will illuminate the deer’s eye, signaling to you that the animal is ahead.
- If a collision seems inevitable, do not swerve to avoid impact. Instead, brake, honk your horn and remain in your lane. Swerving could cause you to collide with oncoming traffic or a fixed object, which could lead to a more serious accident.
In the unfortunate event you should collide with a deer, move your vehicle to the side of the road and away from oncoming traffic, if possible. Avoid touching or approaching the frightened deer because it could cause further injury to itself and you. If the animal is blocking the roadway or creating a danger to other drivers, call the police immediately. Once you are safe, contact your auto insurance company to report any damage to your vehicle.