Deer destroy vehicles. In the deer breeding season from late fall to early winter deer are a hazard for those who drive between the hours of sun down and sun rise.
There are a number of things you should know – and skills you should master – to avoid a costly deer-vehicle collision and property damage claim.
(1) Wear your seat belt: avoid injuring yourself on impact with the large animal.
(2) Pay attention to the deer crossing signs: these usually appear when wooded cover borders the highway and water is nearby.
(3) If you see one deer, look for others: deer are pack animals who “follow the leader”
(4) Honk your horn if you see a deer at the side of the road: it will frighten him, and he may retreat into wooded cover.
(5) Drive with your high beams on where possible: this permits you to see the reflection of the eyes of a deer, or deer pack at the side of the road.
(6) Blink your high beams at a deer who seems frozen in your headlights; this will awaken him, and alerted to danger, he may run back into the woods.
(7) If you see a deer on the road ahead, brake firmly – but do not stomp on your brakes – as this may cause another motorist to rear-end you.
(8) If a crash is inevitable, do NOT swerve. You will do less damage to your vehicle if you hit the deer than if you hit another vehicle, or plunge off of a ledge.
(9) If you hit a deer, do not attempt to assist the animal: a frightened deer can injure you seriously.
(10) If you hit a deer and damage your vehicle seriously, contact the authorities. It is the law in most states.
Deer collisions cause 1.1 billion dollars in vehicle damage claims every year: scan the highway to be alert for deer crossing the highway, and remember that deer make split-second decisions – decisions that could cost you a radiator, grill, bumper, fender or hood, or all of these.