Winter is quickly approaching, and as the temperature drops, deer are on the move and that means more collisions with vehicles. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), deer-vehicle collisions in the U.S. cause about 200 fatalities annually. Furthermore, in a recent study of fatal animal crashes, IIHS reported that 60 percent of people killed were not wearing a seatbelt. Drivers need to be especially watchful during this time when deer are mating and migrating from October through December.
The following tips from The Cincinnati Insurance Companies website can help you avoid a collision with a deer and stay safe while on the road.
1. Dawn, dusk and night are the times you are most likely to encounter deer in the roadway
2. The annual deer breeding season, also known as the rut, occurs mainly from October through December, but also can extend into January for some southern states.
3. Deer can be very active and unpredictable at these times while they are searching for mates.
4. Country roads, farmland and heavily wooded areas are known for high deer populations, but it’s also not uncommon to encounter deer in suburban or urban areas.
5. Deer are herd animals. If you see one, more are likely to follow.
Tips that can help:
1. Always wear your seatbelt.
2. Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings.
3. Drive at or below the speed limit when in areas with large deer populations.
4. Be aware of Deer Crossing signs. These signs are strategically placed in areas frequently used by deer to cross the road.
5. Don’t swerve your vehicle to avoid hitting a deer. This could cause you to lose control and hit another vehicle or object.
If you hit a deer:
1. Contact the local emergency services if anyone is injured.
2. Notify the local law enforcement agency of the accident.
3. Report the accident to your insurance agent or insurance company as soon as possible.
4. Never attempt to approach the deer. Deer are unpredictable wild animals. When injured, they could cause personal harm to you or run back into the roadway and cause another accident.
Even though the time for deer is here, you can utilize these great tips and avoid becoming a target of a deer collision. We here at Barker, Beck, Collins and Kronauge wish you a healthy and safe winter.