Fall is a glorious time to take a drive and enjoy the changing colors. Be careful, it’s also a dangerous time for wildlife.

Accidents with deer and elk spike across the United States from October through December, with November the top month for deer-car crashes.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates more than 1.5 million deer collisions take place every year in the U.S., causing over $1 billion in vehicle damage. The danger increases when your travel in rural areas where deer roam; just look at the scattered bumpers, grills and lights on the sides of the roadways.

 

The top ten states for deer-auto crashes in 2016 were:

  1. West Virginia
  2. Montana
  3. Pennsylvania
  4. Iowa
  5. South Dakota
  6. Wisconsin
  7. Minnesota
  8. Michigan tied with Wyoming
  9. Mississippi

 

To reduce the risk of hitting deer or other wildlife:

  • Don’t drive distracted
  • Slow down
  • Use high beams at night when there is no oncoming traffic
  • Stay alert at dusk and dawn when deer tend to be most active
  • Pay attention to wildlife warning signs
  • Honk your horn to scare any deer off the road
  • Break firmly and don’t swerve (many serious crashes occur when drivers lose control of their car or truck trying to avoid a deer)

 

If you hit a deer:

  • Attempt to move your vehicle to the side of the road
  • Use your hazard lights
  • Call local law enforcement or the state patrol (especially if there are injuries, your car is not drivable or the animal remains in the road)
  • Don’t approach or attempt to move an injured animal (it can hurt you)
  • Take photos of the crash, the damage to your vehicle, and the roadway where it occurred
  • Fill out an accident report (some areas allow you to do it online)
  • Contact your insurance company as soon as possible

 

 

California Casualty

California Casualty

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