The months between October and December can be especially hazardous to drivers because motor vehicle and deer collisions are higher during these months because of deer migration and mating. November is the worst month with the most claims reports the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. While Washington is not in the top 10 states with the highest motor vehicle accident rate involving deer, it is still a common problem especially as drivers cross the mountain passes and drive in rural areas.
According to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.), every year 1.5 million vehicles collide with deer and cause 1.1 billion dollars in damages and resulting in approximately 150 deaths and 10,000 injuries. On average, a deer-vehicle collision costs $2,800 per insurance claim. If there is an injury, the claims average $10,000. In the past 15 years, the incidence of auto-deer collisions has doubled.
Motorcyclists are most at risk when colliding with deer. In only about 2% of car-deer collisions there is a fatality. However, 85% of motorcycle-deer collisions result in a fatality to the human.
Does Insurance Cover Deer Collision?
A lot of people don’t know this but most comprehensive automobile insurance polices cover automobile-deer collisions. Here’s what you need to know about insurance policies and deer collisions:
- Make sure you have comprehensive coverage
- Most policies cover a rental car
- Many policies provide “gap” coverage if your car is totaled
- Report your damage as soon as possible
- Know what your deductible is, usually they range between $100 and $300
- Use a reputable company to repair your car.
Tips to Avoid Deer Collisions:
- The highest risk time for a auto-deer collision is between sunset and midnight and the hours before sunrise; be especially attentive while driving at these times.
- Pay attention to deer crossing signs and in areas where there are a lot of deer.
- Use your high beams as much as possible while driving at night; do not “over drive” your head lights.
- Slow down and blow your horn if you see a deer to frighten it.
- If you see a deer in your path, brake firmly but stay in your lane. The most severe injuries to drivers occur when the driver attempts to avoid the deer. Some people veer into the path of an oncoming car or lose control of their car when they attempt to avoid hitting the deer.
- Wear your seat belt. Most people injured in a car-deer collision were not wearing theirs.
- If you hit a deer, do not touch it. A wounded deer may harm you or further injure itself. Pull off the road, turn on your flashing lights and call police.
You might want to read Defenders of Wildlife – Driver Tip Sheet.
This information was brought to you by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured and the families of those killed in automobile accidents. With our help, you may be able to recover compensation for your damages.
Contact The Farber Law Group today for a free case consultation.