Look Out! Deer!

Deer post image, six deer running in a line across a street.

Avoiding a Deer / Car Collision

 Here in Alabama, we more or less take it for granted that there will be deer on the roadside. Over the years however, there has been a steady increase in deer-car collisions – over 500,000 each year, and there are a significant number of fatalities associtated as well!

 Not only are these situations dangerous, but the damage they can cause to a vehicle is significant! These kinds of accidents are usually covered in the comprehensive part of a good auto insurance policy, but as with many things, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We think that the Insurance Information Institute has come up with some great tips for preventing deer-car collisions. They are covered in the following list


To avoid hitting a deer, use these defensive driving tips

  • Be especially attentive during peak deer hours. From sunset to midnight and during the hours shortly before and after sunrise are the highest risk times for deer-vehicle collisions
  • Use extra caution when driving through deer-crossing zones. Also be especially careful in places known to have a large deer population and in areas where roads divide agricultural fields from forestland.
  • Know that deer seldom run alone. If you see one deer, others may be nearby
  • Use high beam headlights if driving at night, when there is no oncoming traffic. The higher light will better illuminate the eyes of deer on or near the roadway.
  • Slow down and blow your horn with one long blast to frighten the deer away.
  • Brake firmly but stay in your lane when you notice a deer in or near your path. Many serious crashes occur when drivers swerve to avoid a deer and hit another vehicle or lose control of their cars.
  • Always wear your seat belt. Most people injured in car-deer crashes were not wearing their seat belt.
  • Do not rely on deer-deterring devices. Deer whistles, deer fences and reflectors have not been proven to reduce deer-vehicle collisions.
  • If your vehicle strikes a deer, do not touch the animal. A frightened and wounded deer can hurt you or further injure itself. The best procedure is to get your car off the road, if possible, and call the police.
  • In the event a deer damages your car contact your insurance agent or company representative to report the incident.