If you’ve hit a deer on the road, follow these five steps.
- Move – Get your car safely off the road if possible.
- Don’t touch – Stay well away from the deer. If it’s injured and frightened, it can hurt you or injure itself further. Let the professionals handle it.
- Report it – Call the police to report your accident.
- Take photos – If it’s safe to do so, document the scene and any damage to your vehicle with photos.
- Insurance – Contact your insurance company or agent to report a claim.
It’s deer season… but not in a good way.
It’s deer strike season. That’s right. There’s a season for everything, and fall is prime time for motorists of all types to encounter deer and other wild game.
The numbers are undeniable. Here in Mississippi, your chances of hitting a deer while driving are 1 in 61. That’s right. Mississippi is among the top 10 states in the nation for deer accidents, and we have the highest density deer population in the country. Fall naturally brings increased movement in deer populations, but it’s also when hunting season ramps up, driving deer movement even further.
Deer are known to be hyper-vigilant. They’re constantly on the lookout for threats in their environment. Drivers… not so much. Whether you drive a car, truck, motorcycle, or just about anything else, it’s time to be extra vigilant on the roadway.
Here at Pyron Group, we pay careful attention every week to insurance claims filed by our customers. The trend we see year after year during the fall months is a huge increase in deer strikes. Nationally, November usually sees the most significant number of motorists crashing into deer.
We have a few tips for you. Free of charge!
- Mind the time – Obviously, be more attentive when driving during the autumn months. Sunset to midnight and the hours just before and after sunrise are prime times for deer to be out and about.
- Danger zone – Being extra careful in posted deer-crossing zones is a no-brainer. Use your high-beam headlights at night where there’s no oncoming traffic.
Deer aren’t loners. If you see one deer, be prepared for more nearby. If you see one cross the road up ahead, it’s a safe bet that others may be crossing right behind it.
- Brakes and horns are your friends – If you see deer on or near the roadway, slow your roll. Next, you can use your car horn to frighten them away.
- Keep it between the lines – Speaking of brakes, stay in your lane when you use them. A lot of terrible accidents happen when drivers brake for deer in the road but swerve and wind up hitting another vehicle or losing control of their car altogether.
- Click it – Another obvious one, but wear your seat belt. The majority of injuries in deer-related accidents are to drivers not wearing their seat belts.
- Don’t rely on gimmicks – Deer whistles, reflectors, and other deterrent add-ons for your vehicle aren’t proven to work. In fact, ask anyone at a body shop how many vehicles they repair with deer whistles. It’s a lot.
- If it happens, keep your distance – If you do collide with a deer, first get your vehicle off the road if possible. Then, keep your distance. An injured deer can hurt you or further injure itself in an attempt to get away. Call the police as you would in any other automobile accident and allow them to determine the best course of action.
- Document it – When it’s safe to do so, document the scene and any damage to your vehicle by taking photos and contact your insurance company or agent.