Video of deer sighting while driving.
Car accidents are unfortunately part of our lives and they are always catching us off guard. But for people living in rural and suburban areas, we tend to have accidents with wildlife such as possum and deer. The number of car accidents involving deer have consistently risen over the years due to increasing deer populations and destruction of their habitat. In addition, with deer mating season starting to begin we will see much more deer and deer related accidents.
The cost of these accidents results in over $1 billion dollars in vehicle damage annually. There are around 175-200 fatalities every year and 10,000 injuries. (According to National Highway Safety Administration).
The majority of these accidents occur between September through December. The vast majority of deer-related accidents occur in the Midwest Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, and Michigan have been in the top ten states for fatal deer collisions every year.
Preventing a Deer Collision
Deer can appear suddenly and randomly with notice, but knowing when and how to react is key. Do not Swerve! The leading cause of accidents, injuries, and deaths from deer-related accidents is when a car swerves in an attempt to avoid hitting a deer. Swerving can result in a car moving into oncoming traffic, crashing into trees or any other objects nearby. It may be against a your first instinct, but safest thing to do is slow down as much as possible and let your vehicle strike the deer.
Best Practices to Prevent a Deer Accident:
- check your headlights regularly and make sure they are working well and bright for clear vision. Consider a headlight restoration if they are hazy or HID Light conversion.
- Check your brakes and make sure they are in proper and optimal working condition.
- Drive Slowly and be alert during deer mating season. The entire Deer mating season lasts from October to December.
- Pay attention to Deer Crossing Signs.
- If you see one deer it usually means there are more closely behind. Flash your headlights, honk your horn, and slow down or stop when you see a deer paying careful attention to your surroundings to avoid a rear end collision from other drivers.
Instincts tell us to avoid an obstruction in the road, but if you can train yourself to not swerve to avoid deer in the road you will keep yourself and your passengers much safer.
Deer Crossing Signs
Pay attention to deer crossing signs when driving. These signs are placed in areas known for high deer traffic. It is important to note that even if there is no posted deer crossing sign it is important to remain alert as possible as deer may appear anywhere at anytime.
While deer can be active any time of the day, the majority of deer related car accidents occur starting at dusk and during sunset. It is important to pay special attention during 6 and 10pm. It is also important to always be aware that deer mostly move in packs, and that when you spot one deer, it is likely that there are more deer nearby so slow down and look! Lastly use your high beams when possible but turn them off for oncoming traffic!
If you do still have a deer related accident, file a police report and stay away from the animal as it may still be alive. Insurance does cover most of the time if you have comprehensive since no one was at fault. Good luck and drive safe.