3d rendered illustration of a deer infront of a car
Even though you’re extremely unlikely to encounter a deer in Manhattan, the risks rise significantly during the fall when you are driving in rural areas. Both parties lose in these collisions, but the costs are even higher with today’s advanced vehicles.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, during deer season, which generally runs from October through December, there is a dramatic increase in the movement of the deer population. CARSTAR says that while the frequency of deer-related accidents is decreasing, the severity of these accidents is increasing because modern vehicles are filled with advanced technologies that need to be repaired.
One out of 116 drivers had a claim from a deer, elk, moose, or caribou collision in 2019, according to State Farm. Those odds more than double during October, November, and December, and there is an increased risk around dawn and dusk.
“Deer-related accidents remain a tremendous risk,” said Dean Fisher, Chief Operating Officer for CARSTAR. “Deer-related accidents can be costly – nearly 70% of CARSTAR franchise partners estimate that the average cost of a deer-related collision repair is between $2,500 and $4,999, while many repairs are between $5,000 and $10,000. Most deer-related accidents involve front-end damage and that can elevate the repair costs because you have to replace windshields, bumpers, front headlamps, and all related advanced safety technology housed in these areas.”
Drive Defensively to Avoid Deer Dangers
November is the peak month for deer-related accidents, but drivers can avoid them by following some smart driving tips this fall and winter. Early morning and dusk are the worst times for deer accidents, as visibility is limited, and deer are frequently on the move. It’s important to drive defensively, anticipate the potential for deer in the road, and please heed the following tips to reduce “deer danger”:
- Use extra caution at dawn and dusk, as well as around golf courses, fields, and wooded areas.
- Remember that deer travel in packs – if you spot one, there are likely more behind it.
- Do not swerve to avoid striking a deer, as that increases the risk of hitting another vehicle or losing control of the car.
- If there is no opposing traffic, use high beams at night to better illuminate deer.
- Do not rely on devices such as deer whistles to scare off animals.
- If a deer remains on the highway after you strike it, report the incident to the game commission or a local law enforcement agency, as it can pose a danger to other motorists. If the deer is still alive, do not go near it because a wild animal with sharp hooves can inflict injuries.
- If an accident with a deer does occur, it pays to be protected. Many drivers do not realize that carrying only collision coverage does not cover damage from a deer accident, leaving them with a damaged vehicle and a large repair bill. To cover any potential damage, drivers should carry comprehensive insurance that covers such collisions. For those driving an older vehicle who feel their cars aren’t worth the cost of the insurance, it is smart to keep an “accident fund” if something does occur.