With the onset of fall comes the beginning of hunting season. While not every state is prone to a great many car vs. deer accidents, in states like Michigan and New York, there are as many as 50,000 such accidents reported every year (and possibly more that go unreported).
As a driver, there are a few things you should know about deer season:
- Deer populations are generally on the move in fall, and one of the reasons they’re attracted to the roadside is leftover salt from when there is snow or ice on the ground. Most of the time, they’d rather walk around a barrier than jump over it, so if you see deer on the side of the road, simply slow down, and pass quietly.
- Most car vs. deer accidents come because the motorist doesn’t see the animal. Be sure to look beyond the beam of your headlights, especially if you’re driving at dawn or dusk.
- Don’t try to dodge the deer. If there is an animal in your path, slow your car, flash your headlights, and blow your horn to scare the animal away. Be aware that deer usually travel in herds, so where there’s one there will be more.
- Be aware of deer crossing signs, and follow any instructions thereon.
- Always report a car vs. deer accident, even when there’s no damage to your car. A hurt deer will behave even more erratically than a healthy animal.
- Check with your insurance company to see if animal damage is covered under your policy. If you have comprehensive of collision coverage, it probably is.