It's that time of year, fall tends to bring increased deer collisions. There were 2.1 million animal collision claims in the U.S. between July 2020 and June 2021, up 7 percent from the previous year.
Although deer-vehicle collisions are a year-round issue, keep in mind spring and fall are peak times for deer-related accidents. October through December is prime deer mating and migrating season, so drivers should be more alert doing these months.
Tips to Avoid Deer-Vehicle Collisions
Drive with caution.
Drive with caution especially in marked deer-crossing zones and along roads surrounded by farmland or forests.
Be alert during high travel times.
Be especially attentive around dawn and dusk. Deer tend to be particularly active between 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. These are the highest risk times for deer-vehicle collisions.
Use high beams.
Make sure to use your high beams when possible for nighttime driving. High beams will better illuminate the deer’s eyes on or near the road.
Know their behavior.
Keep in mind that deer tend to travel in herds and in a single file. If you see one deer, there are likely more behind it.
Always wear your seat belt. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that of the 23,824 people killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2020, 51 percent were not wearing seat belts – a 4 percent increase from 2019. Seat belts used in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 14,955 lives.
How to Stay In Control when you Encounter a Deer
If you determine a crash is unavoidable, keep these in mind:
Stay in your lane so you don’t move into the path of another vehicle or lose control of yours.
Be sure to brake firmly and hold onto the steering wheel.
Bring your vehicle to a controlled stop and take the appropriate necessary actions. Call the police and connect with a Farm Bureau agent to report the accident. Collision with a deer or another animal is typically covered under the comprehensive portion of your vehicle insurance.
Farm Bureau Financial Services to the Rescue
If you collide with an animal or experience other car trouble, our Emergency Roadside Assistance can get you back on the road quickly. Add Emergency Roadside Assistance to your Farm Bureau Member’s Choice coverage, and enjoy the peace of mind knowing you have help 24/7, whether you’re traveling across the country or in your own driveway.