October is a busy time of the year. It prompts prepping for winter around the home as well as your vehicle, cooler weather, harvests and more tractors on the roadways, the Georgia National Fair, Halloween and more. It’s also a start to a season when drivers are more likely to hit deer that run into the road due to the rut. Use these helpful tools to help avoid potential collisions.
UGA researchers looked at breeding data and compared it to deer-vehicle collision statistics in the state in a county-by-county analysis of peak times for possible deer-vehicle collisions. Be sure to search the map for your county.
Remember! It’s not just deer or property affected! In 2013, 191 people died from hitting an animal, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Reducing speed and maintaining a constant lookout for animals is the best way to avoid collisions. Travel at a speed that will allow you to stop in time if a deer comes into the beam cast by your headlights
Time of Day
As deer are most active at dawn and dusk, they typically are seen roadside during the early morning and late evening – the same times most people are commuting to and from work.
At night, use high beams
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. If you encounter a deer, switch your headlights to low beam so that the animals are not blinded and will move out of your way.
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. Also, from an insurance perspective you are taking control of the situation and should you loose control or strike another’s property, you are held responsible (At-Fault) and will need to file on your Collision coverage vs if you hit the animal it is considered to be NOT at-fault and claimed on your Comprehensive Coverage.
Devices not proven effective
Do not rely on devices such as deer whistles, deer fences and reflectors to deter deer. These devices have not proven effective.
Source: Insurance Information Institute and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
Sometimes you can do everything right and still end up hitting a deer. Don’t feel bad in Georgia you have a 1 in 134 chance of hitting a deer according to a study by UGA. If you do find yourself in this situation here are some helpful hints.
Move your vehicle
Move your vehicle off the road, if possible, and turn on your hazard lights.
Call the police
They can make sure traffic gets stopped, if needed, and take down information for your insurance claim.
Don’t touch the animal
It could be carrying disease, or if it’s still alive, it could get scared and hurt you.
Document the incident
Take photos of everything — the deer, your car, any injuries to you or your passengers. You should also get contact information from any witnesses who saw the crash.
Call to start the claims process ASAP! 855-432-2567 or 855 GFB-CLMS.