Entering Peak Season For Deer Collisions

October 21, 2020
Deer Crossing Sign

© Penny Britt / iStock / Getty Images Plus

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Autumn is making its presence known and so are deer.  Auto insurance claims for collisions with deer and other animals rise significantly in the fall, according to the Highway Data Loss Institute (HDLI), rising dramatically in October before peaking in November. Those collisions can be costly with an average of $3,685 per claim; not to mention that 190 people were killed in crashes involving animals in 2018.  Although 61% of new cars now come with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, not all systems are designed to recognize a large animal. The most important advice to avoid hitting a deer or other animal with your vehicle is to slow down. Watch for deer especially around dawn and between the hours of 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., when they’re most active. At night when traffic permits, put on your high beams for improved visibility. Look out for deer-crossing signs and wooded areas where animals are likely to travel. If you travel the same route to and from work every day, you may find deer consistently grazing in the same fields. Make a mental note of when and where you regularly see the animals. Deer travel in groups, so if you see one run across the road, expect others to follow. Lastly, do not rely on deer whistles. These are aftermarket devices that some drivers put on their front bumpers to scare off animals. But animal behavior remains unpredictable, even if you use one of these and there is no scientific evidence supports that car-mounted deer whistles work. If you do strike an animal, move your car safely off the road and call the police or animal control. Don’t attempt to touch an injured animal. Photograph the scene, then call your insurance company when you get home. Damage from animal collisions is usually covered by auto insurance policies.

SOURCE: Consumer Reports

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