The season is upon us once again; deer season that is. Summer has come to a close and the days have become shorter and darker, which means deer come out more frequently, resulting in a spike in auto accidents. You may have noticed signs along the roadways indicating deer may be crossing, but do you know what to do if you encounter a deer along the roadway? Knowing safety tips to avoid a deer collision can reduce the likelihood of being involved in an auto accident with a deer.
This Scenario Happens Frequently
The sun is setting as you drive home from work along a heavily wooded highway and as you come around a curve, you see something dart out right in front of you. Unable to stop in time, you plow right into a deer, which results in significant damage to your car, not to mention the deer. After the fact, you wonder if there was anything you could have done to prevent this type of collision. Now that your car is damaged, you also wonder if your N.C. auto insurance policy will provide coverage for this type of loss.
Key Do’s and Don’ts to Avoiding Deer
Look for Deer Crossing Signs- If you see deer crossing signs, it is likely deer are prevalent in that area so always use extreme caution and slow down in those areas. Typically, you will notice these signs along wooded areas along the roads and highways.
Pay Attention and Use Extreme Caution- When driving during sunrise and sunset, always pay attention to your surroundings and use extra caution. Look ahead at your surroundings for any deer standing alongside the roadways waiting to cross or reflective eyes of a deer.
Use Your High Beams- When driving down a dark stretch of road, it is recommended that you use high beams to see deer standing alongside the road waiting to cross. You’ll be able to spot a deer sooner and react quicker to help avoid a collision.
Travel at a Safe or Reduced Speed- If you are traveling at sunrise/sunset along the roadway, reduce your speed so that if you should encounter a deer, you can stop quicker.
Stay in Center Lane on Multi-Lane Roads- Traveling in the center lane allows for more time to stop should you see a deer entering the roadway.
Slam on Brakes but Never Swerve- Most people’s natural reaction is to swerve to avoid the deer, but this is more dangerous as you could possibly swerve into oncoming traffic. Slam on brakes and stay in your lane.
Don’t Panic- Easier said than done, but if you do encounter a dangerous situation with a deer, don’t panic. Instead, try to remember the safety tips to best avoid a collision and remain calm.
Blow Horn- Once you recognize a deer, it is best to blow your horn. Hopefully, this will make the deer run back into the woods or out of your direction. Keep in mind that deer are unpredictable and skittish, but hopefully this will alert them of danger and avert them into another direction to safety.
During the months of October, November, and December, deer are running around more frequently as they look for mates, posing hazards to people driving along the roads, especially in wooded areas. If you should have an accident involving a collision with a deer, the claim would fall under the Comprehensive Coverage of your N.C. auto insurance policy. If you have questions regarding auto accidents involving deer or whether you have this type of auto coverage, please call us at 866-869-3335 and we can assist you.