Did you know, North Carolina is ranked fifth in the U.S. for vehicle collisions with animals? During the colder months, animals— particularly deer— begin to venture out of their woodland homes to search for additional food sources. The autumn season also signals the prime mating season for deer. While this timeline is instinctual to animals in mother nature, animals and humans can frequently cross each other’s paths while on hikes or on the road.
You should be cautiously driving anywhere you may go, but be particularly cautious in the early mornings and evenings when there is little light, as deer are the most active from dusk to dawn. In 2020 more than 4 out of 5 deer-related accidents occurred from the hours of 6 pm to 8 am!
Recommended tips for lowering collisions with deer:
- Watch for eye reflections from your headlights
- Remember deer typically travel in large herds if you see one there are probably more
- Avoid relying on “deer whistles” and other “ultra-sonic” devices
- Do not drive distracted
- Be extra aware during dawn and dusk
- Scan the sides of the road
Let’s face it, it isn’t foolproof, and sometimes it’s unavoidable, so if you do hit a deer or other animal, and you are injured and/or your vehicle is damaged you should immediately call 911. For the animal, please call the NC Wildlife Enforcement at 800-662-7137. In total, about 1 million crashes per year are due to deer, everywhere from Alaska to Florida, deer are the most likely animal to find themselves in your front fender. Vehicle damage from hitting a deer is covered by your auto policy’s comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive insurance covers unforeseen damages that are out of your control (such as hitting an animal). However, swerving to miss a deer and colliding into an object or another car, would be covered under Collision— but we’ll save that topic for another day!
This blog post is for informational purposes only and is not intended as professional advice.