We may not stop think of the road dangers that can occur in the Fall Season. With September to December being deer migration and mating season, this increases the movement of the deer population. As a result more deer-vehicle collision occur during this period.
According to the Insurance Information Institute an estimated 1.22 million deer-vehicle collisions occurred in the U.S. between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2013, a 3.5 percent decrease from a year ago. However the average insurance claim for this type of collision in the same time period was $3,414, up 3.3 percent from the previous year with costs varying depending on the type of vehicle and severity of the damage.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) noted that deer-vehicle collisions in the U.S. cause about 200 fatalities annually. Furthermore, in a recent study of fatal animal crashes, IIHS reported that 60 percent of people killed were not wearing a seatbelt.
- Deer are not just found on rural roads near wooded areas; many deer crashes occur on busy highways near cities.
- Deer are unpredictable, especially when faced with glaring headlights, blowing horns and fast-moving vehicles. They often dart into traffic.
- Deer often move in groups. If you see one, there are likely to be more in the vicinity.
- Drive with care when moving through deer-crossing zones, in areas known to have a large deer population and in areas where roads divide agricultural fields from forestland.
- Always wear your seatbelt.
- When driving at night, use high beam headlights when there is no oncoming traffic. The high beams will better illuminate the eyes of any deer on or near the roadway.
- Be especially attentive from sunset to midnight and during the hours shortly before or after sunrise. These are the highest risk times for deer-vehicle collisions.
- Brake firmly when you notice a deer in or near your path, but stay in your lane. Many serious crashes occur when drivers swerve to avoid a deer and hit another vehicle or lose control of their cars.
- Do not rely on devices such as deer whistles, deer fences and reflectors to deter deer. These devices have not proven effective.
Damage caused by an accident with deer or other animals is typically covered under the optional comprehensive portion of an automobile insurance policy.
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