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Unswerving Advice for Drivers: Steer Clear of Deer

Soaring deer populations and weather conditions during travel this season can be a dangerous combination for motorists — especially uninsured ones.  Animals, particularly deer, are a factor in many traffic accidents. Although most deer and other animal-related accidents do not involve human fatalities, they do contribute to insurance claims and auto damages each year.

  • Be alert when passing through a deer crossing zone.
  • Remember: the signs were put there for a reason.
  • Drive cautiously during early evening and early morning hours when deer are active.
  • Even in urban and suburban areas, rush hour commuters should be particularly alert for animals.
  • If you see a deer on the road, slow down and blow your horn to scare it away. Deer often fixate on headlights, so it may not be effective to just flash your lights.
  • Look for other deer after one has crossed the road. Deer seldom run alone.
  • If unable to stop to avoid hitting a deer, do not swerve.  It is better to hit the deer head- on. The most serious injuries to motorists or passengers occur when a driver swerves to avoid a deer but hits a fixed object or moving car.
  • Ideally, to reduce damage and likelihood of injury, a motorist should brake until just before the point of impact, then, accelerate to lift the hood and prevent the animal from flying up onto the windshield.
  • If you hit a deer, don’t touch it. If it is alive it may be dangerous. Call the state or local police to report the accident.
  • Immediately report any damage to your insurance agent.
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