| Deer that suddenly appear out of nowhere can often put drivers someplace they don't want to be. |
With the deer population increasing across the country and living space for wildlife habitat on the decline, the number of incidents involving a deer jumping into the path of a car has been on the rise in the past few years.
Activity is greatest during October through December, when male deer activity dramatically increases, resulting in a number of vehicular collisions.
Often, a deer colliding with a car can result in significant property damage and even life-threatening situations. According to the nonprofit Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.), on average, deer-vehicle collisions cost $2,800 per insurance claim, and the cost increases to $10,000 if there is an injury involved.
In order to stay safe, consider the following:
• Watch the Clock.
Deer are most active from sunset to midnight and during the hours just before and after sunrise, which are feeding times.
• Watch your Speed.
It's not just the speed of the animal that plays a factor--it's the speed of the vehicle as well.
• Be Vigilant.
Deer don't run alone. If you see one, there are likely others nearby.
• Don't Swerve.
If a deer is suddenly in front of you, sound your horn to frighten it away. Break firmly but stay in your lane. Crashes happen when drivers swerve to avoid a deer, only to hit other vehicles or lose control of their cars.
• Wear your Seatbelt.
Most people injured in deer/car crashes were unbuckled at the time.
Deer are bigger and heavier than people may think. However, by staying alert and reacting appropriately, it's possible to avoid many collisions.