If you’ve ever hit a deer on the road, you know that awful, mixed worry — about the extent of the damage to your vehicle and the suffering of the deer. You may have a lot of questions, too, such as: How is this going to affect my insurance? Do I call the police? Do I just go home? There are right and wrong ways to handle the situation. Let’s go over a few basics:
Basic deer accident facts and statistics
There are two times of year when you are more likely to hit a deer, May-June (breeding season) and October-November (rutting season). Over 42,000 deer are killed each year by autos, and 400 auto occupants are injured in such collisions.
Avoiding a deer collision
There is much you can do as a responsible driver to avoid collisions with deer. Here are a few to keep in mind:
What to do if you hit a deer
Sometimes, no matter how many precautions you take, a deer can appear out of nowhere and into the path of your vehicle. If this happens, make sure you contact the police immediately. Not only will you need the accident report for insurance purposes, but the officer can contact someone to help the injured deer, if necessary.
If you hit a deer, it is covered under the comprehensive portion of your auto insurance policy and is considered a covered loss. Your insurance can help you pay for repairs or replace your vehicle if it has been damaged beyond repair. Typically, you must have actually hit the deer for the coverage to kick in. In other words, the damage must not have occurred while you were swerving to avoid hitting the deer. Swerving can be dangerous, and you may hit another vehicle and injure those occupants as well.