Jessica Sautter has a Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Michigan University in Elementary Education with a Major in Reading and a Minor in Mathematics.

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Written by Jessica Sautter
Content Writer Jessica Sautter

Natasha McLachlan is a writer who currently lives in Southern California. She is an alumna of California College of the Arts, where she obtained her B.A. in Writing and Literature. Her current work revolves around auto insurance guides and informational articles. She truly enjoys helping others learn more about everyday, practical matters through her work.

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Reviewed by Natasha McLachlan
Content Writer Natasha McLachlan

UPDATED: May 24, 2021

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Hitting a deer is probably more general than you might think. This is especially true for those who live in suburban or rural areas where deer or moose can appear from seemingly nowhere. Every year, roughly 200 people are killed and the collisions cause $4 billion in damage with deer across the US.

The mountain state West Virginia ranks top when it comes to facing the highest risk of crashing a deer according to State Farm where the odds of hitting a deer is 1 in 44 in 2015. Montana, Iowa, Pennsylvania, South Dakota are the other states in the top 5 list.

More Statistics on Deer-Vehicle Collision

If You Hit a Deer Does Insurance Cover It?

If you have comprehensive coverage, the answer is usually yes. In fact, such coverage is often stipulated in the policy itself. This part of your insurance pays for damage that is not caused by the collision with another vehicle such as a rock smashing through your windshield or running to a deer on the road. That’s why deer hit car insurance is quite common and available in most policies.

Be sure to check with your insurance company to ensure that you have it as well. Every insurance company handles this differently, and the procedure to file a claim is not similar. So, check out your insurance provider for more trustworthy information.

Does Your Insurance Go Up If You Hit a Deer?

Your insurance rates should not go up because you hit a deer or moose. This is because striking a deer is considered a “no fault” type loss. So, if you have comprehensive insurance that covers hitting a deer, your rates should stay the same. However, you will want to check with your insurance company to see what their exact policy is on the subject.

I Just Hit a Deer, What Do I Do Now?

If you have just struck a deer, you will need to move your vehicle off the road if at all possible. Also, check yourself and your passengers for any injuries from the collision.

  • Call the police: They will file a proper report
  • Photograph your vehicle of the damage caused by the collision
  • Do not approach the animal; it may be of greater danger to you if it is wounded
  • Call your insurance agency and report the damage

The sooner you call, the faster your claim will process. So, be sure that when you file a hit a deer insurance claim that you have all the information at the ready.

Who do You Call When You Hit a Deer?

When filing a claim, you should talk to your insurance agent first so that you can follow the right procedures. Once you have all the information gathered, then you can call and file a claim with the insurance company.

Do You have to Pay a Deductible if You Hit a Deer?

Imagine getting into an auto accident with a deer. What’s the procedure for such an occurrence?

Many drivers remain unaware of these realities, and it can lead to a troubling experience. The one question a person will have involves the payment of their deductible. Is it required when a deer is hit by your vehicle on the road?

Yes, there is a “comprehensive deductible” amount established for such occurrences. It’s important to note insurers will not hold drivers at-fault for the first incident involving deer as it’s a rare occurrence.

However, the amount will have to be paid as written in the established policy.

I Swerved to Miss a Deer:

Deer on the Road

That is a bad thing to do if you find yourself with a deer standing in the middle of the road. Here are some tips on how to avoid colliding with a deer.

  • Keep within the speed limit
  • Be attentive, particularly in October and November when deer tend to migrate the most
  • If you see one deer, there will probably be others
  • Never Swerve: Instead, stay in your lane and hit the brakes. It’s better to hit a deer than go into oncoming traffic or lose control of your vehicle.

Of course, even the most observant drivers can still hit a deer, so it pays to be prepared by having that coverage in your insurance policy.

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How to Avoid Crushing a Deer?

The Deer (a ruminant mammal) is not an infamous animal in the United States of America. They are as old as the nation itself and as such are bound to be seen in their numbers. The deer being very dumb animals are prone to collision by a vehicle especially by drivers that are not very careful on the road.

Research has shown that the most dangerous animal in America is the deer. This is because many families have sustained injuries or out-rightly dead because of deer-related accidents.

Reasons for Deer Accidents in the USA:

Due to this massive occurrence, a renowned scientist from the University of Alberta, in his book wrote that these incessant accidents occur mostly with male deer than the female breeds. He further explained that this is because the male deer focuses its mind and eyes mostly on the need for sexual satisfaction from the female deer during the copulating period, and as such is not clear headed.

Interesting reason:

Another source also postulated that this occurrence is because most male deer during the mating season focus on wading off other males from their intended female mates. Being erratic animals, they do not exactly think any longer than to concentrate on this fight and as such avoiding an oncoming vehicle would be a tad impossible.

Worst period of the year?

In the United States, the deer tends to breed mostly during the fall, around October to January. During this period, majority of the incidents happen.

These incessant accidents correspond to the research done by a renowned biologist, who said that since the deer is a social animal and mostly walked in groups, they are prone to attack.

The citizens believe that most of these crashes would not have resulted in serious injuries nor outright death if the drivers and occupants of such vehicles were using their seat belts while driving.

A research made by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has proven that 60% of the people who did not survive in a head-long collision with these deer did not have their seat belt on at the time of the incident.

The Effect of Deer Accidents on Citizens:

Both governmental and non–governmental organizations in the USA have put together reports on the menace of the deer on her people.

A report made available by the National Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) responsible for reducing, injuries and economic losses resulting from motor vehicle crashes disclosed that there are about 1 million vehicular accidents each year, and have left more than 200 American families dead. Personal injuries to families per year are about 10,000 and vehicle damage by this collision with a deer was more than a billion dollars.

According to State Farm Insurance, West Virginia tops the list of states where a driver is most likely to hit a deer. Other states include Wyoming, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Montana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Iowa and South Dakota. It is also on record that the insurance payout mostly on damage vehicle by a deer collision or accident is nothing less than $4 billion a year.

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Precautionary Tips on How to Avoid Hitting a Deer while Driving a Car:

The deer is quite spotty, and obviously, they are a threat to both the driver and the car. So putting these precautionary ideas in place could help you reduce the possibility of hitting a deer and thereby avoid car damage, injury or worse, death.

1. Get a Deer Whistle:

Ultrasonic Deer Whistle Alerts

This is a life-saving device that is quite helpful in keeping one safe from the deer accidents. This device mounted to the grill of the car has the potential to make the animals freeze at the sound it makes. It stops them from crossing your path. The deer being a skittish breed will always react to the whistle by stopping to look and listen to be sure that they are not threatened.

2. Apply caution when driving in an animal-filled neighborhood:

It is pertinent that drivers maintain a low speed in areas where animals are bound to cross the road indiscriminately, especially for the deer that walk in groups. If one just ran across the road, it is natural that another will follow suit. So, watch out!

3. Deer Season:

Driving during deer mating season can be quite a herculean task and dangerous for road users. It is necessary to apply more caution during fall, in October through January. Again, while driving daily extra caution should be exercise at dusk and dawn. Deer or moose tend to be both restless and active during this period. So, you need to show more patience and caution during this time.

4. Wear your seat belts at all times during a driving period:

Many times, correct use of seat belts by road travelers could reduce the possibility of sustaining minor and massive injuries. Therefore, it is pertinent that the driver and even the occupants use their seat belt. As much as it is not a magic wand of stopping the accident from occurring, but the level of injuries could be reduced.

5. Always be at alert:

  • Nothing is truer than this.
  • Keep your mind and eyes on the road and focus on your environment.
  • Look out for those green deer eyes that shine when your headlights reflect on them and blast your horn to scare them.
  • Watch out for the deer-crossing signs and slow down.
  • Always stay at the center of your lane.
  • If you see a deer from afar, apply the brake firmly and calmly stay in your lane.

Video News : Avoiding Car-Deer Crashes

What to Do After a Collision with a Deer (DOs and DON’Ts)?

At times, the most careful drivers still end up with a life-threatening encounter with these deer on the road. If you ever face with such awful experience, the tips below can provide a quick remedy to the situation.

  • Firstly, move to a safe distance with the car and put on the hazards light to indicate a distressed situation.
  • Keep a safe distance from the wounded or injured Deer. It can be quite dangerous then.
  • Alert the Police and contact your insurance provider, especially if there is damage to your vehicle for proper assessment and claims.
  • Don’t forget to call the emergency services if serious injuries occur or people are in critical condition.
  • Don’t assume your car is still in perfect condition to drive. Assess it properly to be sure it is okay or if possible get it to an automobile repair shop.

Hope these tips will help you prevent from crashing a deer. Safety comes first, so be sure to take proper cautions before and while driving during the fall when deer is mostly prevalent crossing the road.