As the days get shorter and nights become longer, be on your guard for deer crossing your usual route on the road. Deer tend to linger unexpectedly after dark, making it crucial to avoid any costly deer-vehicle collision repairs that may come your way. Insurance claims for animal-related collisions rise dramatically in the fall when deer are mating, peaking in November, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), and more than 1.5 million deer-vehicle collisions occur each year in the U.S.
Most deer-vehicle collisions occur from October through December but are not limited to these months. Be prepared and check with your auto insurance representative to see if you have comprehensive coverage.
Here are several safety tips to consider when avoiding deer on the road:
- Be mindful of deer-crossing signs. These signs are posted for a reason and are good indicators of where deer typically roam.
- Deer stick together in groups. Rarely do deer travel alone. If you see one, then there are probably several lurking nearby.
- Turn on your high beams. Make sure your high beams work before hitting the road, it can also be a good way to frighten deer lurking in dark spots.
- Drive slower. Take your time driving on dark roads. Reduce your speed or tap on your brakes whenever possible. When in doubt, if there is no one driving behind you and a deer appears, brake hard.
- Always use a seat belt. Your odds of major injuries can be minimized when strapping into your seat and obeying speed limit signs.
- Be alert at meal time. Deer are nocturnal and tend to roam near rivers and heavily wooded areas at meal time. It is best to drive slowly and keep the location in mind for future reference.
- Deer-deterrent devices can be ineffective. Studies suggest there is not enough evidence to show that deer-deterrent devices work, so stick to taking precautions.
- Contact your auto insurance representative if you have been in a deer-collision. Not all insurance policies cover animal collisions. If you have comprehensive coverage, your vehicle damages should be covered but if you’re unsure, ask your representative.
While it’s best to avoid animal collision damages to your vehicle, accidents happen. Make sure you’re covered this fall and contact your insurance representative if you have questions about your coverage. Visit LongandFoster.com/insurance to learn more. Or call 1-866-275-4534.