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Avoiding/Minimizing Deer-Related Crashes

Cars and deer can be a lethal combination. Deer migration and mating season generally runs from October through December and causes a dramatic increase in the movement of the deer population. As a result, more deer-vehicle collisions occur in this period than at any other time of year, so drivers need to be especially cautious, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III).

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) estimates that there are more than 1.5 million deer-vehicle collisions each year, resulting in the deaths of more than 200 motorists, tens of thousands of injuries, and over $1 billion in vehicle damage. In 2018, the average claim for deer-related collision damage was $3,875, with costs varying depending on the type of vehicle and severity of damage.

The vast majority of deer-related accidents occur in the Midwest. According to an analysis of claims from 2006 to 2018 conducted by the Highway Loss Data Institute, the 10 states with the highest number of accidents involving deer were: West Virginia, Montana, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Iowa, Wyoming, Wisconsin, Michigan, Mississippi, and Minnesota.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to decrease the likelihood of being involved in a deer-vehicle collision.

The following facts can be helpful in avoiding deer-related collisions:

When driving, the I.I.I. recommends taking the following precautions:

In the event that your vehicle strikes a deer, avoid going near or touching the animal. A frightened and wounded deer can hurt you or further injure itself. The best procedure is to get your car off the road, if possible, and call the police.

If you are involved in a deer- or other animal-related collision, contact your Independent Insurance Agent as possible to report any damage to your car. Collision with a deer or other animal is covered under the comprehensive portion of your Personal Auto policy.

Source: Insurance Information Institute