Deer-Vehicle Collisions

November 1st, 2012

Estimated 1.23 million deer-vehicle collisions occurred in the U.S. between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012, costing more than $4 billion in vehicle damage, according to State Farm, the nation’s largest auto insurer. Damage caused by and accident with deer or other animals is covered under the comprehensive portion. The average claim for deer-vehicle collisions between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012 was $3305, up 4.4.% from the previous year. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety IIHS noted that deer-vehicle collisions in the U.S. cause about 200 fatalities annually. “Drivers should stay alert and pay particular attention to the side of the road, especially during the hours just before dusk and just before daylight’ said Loretta Worters, III vice president. There are steps you can take to decrease the likelihood of being involved in a deer-vehicle collision.

Drivers should be aware of the following:

  • Deer are not just found on rural roads near wooded areas; many deer crashes occur on buy highways near cities.
  • Deer are unpredictable, especially when faced with glaring headlights, blowing horns and fast-moving vehicles. They often dart into traffic.
  • Deer often move in groups. If you see on, there are likely to be more in the vicinity.

Divers should take these precautions:

  • Drive with caution when moving through deer-crossing zones, in areas known to have a large deer population and in areas where roads divide agricultural fields from forestland.
  • Always wear a seat belt. The IIHS reports that in a study of fatal animal crashes, 60% of people killed were not wearing a seat-belt.
  • When driving at night, use high-beams will better illuminate the eyes of any deer on or near the roadway.
  • Be attentive from sunset to midnight
  • Break firmly when you notice a deer in or near your path, but stay in your lane. Many serious crashes occur when drivers swerve to avoid a deer and hit another vehicle or lose control of their cars.
  • Do not rely on devices such as deer whistles, deer fences and reflectors to deter deer. These devices have  not proven effective, the III stated.

This information was supplied by The Standard  October 26, 2012 Vol. 271 No. 12   Please swing by thier site.