Help Prevent a Deer Collision, or Deal with the Fallout.

We all know that collisions with deer are practically inevitable living here in Bucks County PA, but there are some things you can do to help prevent them:

#1) The numbers game: Deer travel in packs, if you see one, there will be more. Be sure to slow way down and stay extra vigilant if you see one dart out into the road, there will likely be others to follow.

#2) What time is it? Dawn and dusk are the times that deer are the most active. Be sure to be extra cautious when driving during these times. Also, deer mating season is October through January, and they are even more mobile during these dark months.

#3) Buckle up for safety.  I remember driving on my learners permit (more years ago than I care to admit), and hitting a huge 8 point buck on River Road.  I collided with it head on, and would have been seriously injured if I wasn’t wearing my seat belt. Of course it didn’t avoid the collision (or the damage to my dad’s new Lincoln), but it did avoid severe injury.

#4) Middle of the road. If you are driving on a multi-lane highway, try to stay centered. The middle lane gives you a “cushion” on either side, and if one does dart in front of you, you’ll have a little more time to react.

#5) Hold your ground. It’s easier said than done, but if you see a deer, brake immediately and stay in your lane. It’s tempting to swerve, but doing so could cause a collision with another vehicle, or put you in a ditch, or worse.

#6) Make some noise. Hood whistles are a great concept, but studies have proved them ineffective in scaring off deer and avoiding collisions. If you see deer in the road, or suspect their presence, a good long blast of your horn should be enough to scare them off.

If you do hit a deer, (and don’t feel bad if you do, it happens to the best of us), here is what you should do afterwards:

#1) Pull over as soon as it is safe and turn on your hazard lights.

#2) Remain in your car until it is safe to get out.

#3) Call 911 if there were any injuries. If no injuries occurred, call the local police to report any property damage.

#4) Do NOT go anywhere near the deer you hit. It is stunned, scared and unpredictable. Let the police know where it is, and they will deploy the appropriate animal control personnel.

Wondering about what your auto insurance would cover in this situation? Typically, animal collisions are covered under your comprehensive coverage. However, if you swerved and collided into a guard rail to avoid the deer, that would normally fall under your collision coverage. Be sure you review your auto insurance declarations page to ensure you fully understand your coverage. If you have any additional questions regarding auto insurance coverage, feel free to contact our Keenan Insurance Agency. Our agents would be happy to answer any questions you might have, or review your current auto insurance policy.

If you have been in an a collision, Keenan Collision Center provides free no-obligation estimates. Contact us anytime online or at 215-345-6800.