I love our house. It’s back off the road in what I call the “country,” and on any given night, you can see stars for miles. We live on a few acres of land, and it suits us better than the hustle and bustle of city living.
But there’s one big drawback: deer.
While these seemingly gentle creatures are beautiful and carry with them a sense of quiet magic, deer plus country roads plus vehicles equals a deadly combination.
In the Unites States, there are more than 1.5 million deer-related car accidents each year. That’s over 1.5 billion in damages!
And it’s not just the country roads are a susceptible to deer collisions. It’s not unusual to see deer near major highways, residential subdivisions and retail areas. (And we’ve found that these displaced creatures tend to ignore the posted “Deer Crossing” signs.)
In the case of deer vs. car, a least one party does not usually fare very well. So what can you do to avoid – or survive – a collision with a deer?
- Be more aware of your surroundings during dusk and dawn, when deer are more likely to be in the vicinity. If you see one deer, there are probably more nearby, so reduce your speed and avoid poorly lit, rural areas.
- Use your high beam headlights when driving in deer territory to increase your time to see the deer and react.
- If you are unable to avoid a collision with a deer, don’t swerve. Hold the wheel straight and steady and brake. Turning the wheel to miss the deer could cause you to hit another car or another obstacle.
And here’s some important information. If you hit the deer, it is considered “other than collision” (also known as comprehensive) and is subject to a deductible, but not insurance points (which can increase your rate). If you swerve to miss the deer and hit another car or something else, it is considered a collision loss and may be subject to insurance points.
One final tip: Call your trusted insurance advisor and make sure you the right coverage on your policy should you have an accident due to an animal collision. No one ever plans to hit a deer!