No matter where you drive – between rural or suburban streets, or even highways – the risk of striking a deer is very real. It’s also incredibly dangerous. A fully-grown deer can cause extensive damage to your vehicle and injury to your person. Unfortunately, deer collisions are on the rise. The primary reason? Deer are being displaced from their natural habitat by expanding cities, and their own population is growing exponentially. According to the Insurance Information Institute, over 1.6 million deer-vehicle collisions occur every year.
Deer & Wildlife Facts
First and foremost, it’s important to educate yourself. Understand the facts regarding deer and other wildlife will help keep you safe on the roads.
- Deer-related accidents are likely to occur during deer breeding season – October to early January.
- Deer are typically witnessed along roadways around dawn and from dusk to evening.
- Deer are considered pack animals. If you see one, chances are others are close by.
When on the road, driving safety is the name of the game. You want always to pay attention to your surroundings, wear your seatbelt, and adhere to all posted signs.
- Wear your seatbelt – Sixty percent of fatal car accidents involving wildlife is due to the driver not wearing their seatbelt.
- Deer-crossing zones – Typically, states post signs of known deer-crossing zones. Watch for these signs and adjust speed accordingly.
- Check times – Know when deer are moving – typically between 5 am and 8 am and 5 pm and midnight.
- Brake appropriately – If you notice a deer, slow down and stop if necessary. Do not swerve out of your lane or slam on the breaks hastily.
- Insurance – If you strike a deer, call your insurance company promptly to inform them of the situation.