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Hitting a deer is a scary experience that can cause you injury and damage your car. Be on the lookout for deer, especially at dusk and dawn, as those are prime times for deer to be on the move.
Oh, Deer: Deer and Auto Accidents
When You Spot A Deer:
- Slow down, brake firmly, and stay in your lane. Swerving could make you lose control of your vehicle and make a bad situation much worse. You could hit an oncoming vehicle, roll your car, or collide with a stationary item such as a tree or fence.
- Honk and flash your lights.
- Look for others as deer rarely travel alone. You might think you are in the clear after that first deer passes only to hit the deer’s travel companion. If a deer crosses in front of you, slow down and look for others.
If You Hit A Deer:
- Move your vehicle to a safe place. If your car is drivable, pull over to the side of the road. Turn your hazard lights on to warn other drivers.
- Alert authorities if the deer is blocking traffic and creating a threat for other drivers. If the collision results in injury or damage to your car, you may need to fill out an official report. This report also can prove useful when filing your insurance claim.
- Document the incident. Take photographs of the roadway, your surroundings, damage to your car, and injuries you or your passengers sustained. If witnesses stop, take down their account of what occurred, and ask for their contact information.
- Stay away from the animal. A frightened, wounded deer could harm you.
- Don’t assume your vehicle is safe to drive. Look for leaking fluids, tire damage, broken lights, a hood that won’t latch, and other safety hazards. If your vehicle seems unsafe, call for a tow.
Am I Covered?
Most of the time, the only policies that cover hitting a deer include comprehensive coverage. Although collision coverage sounds like it should cover a collision with a deer, it typically doesn’t. Collision coverage is usually meant to cover an accident involving another vehicle. The best way to know whether you are currently covered or not is to look into your policy to see what it covers.
Off the scene, call your insurance company and give them all the details. They will give you next steps, and from there you can find a quality auto body shop to fix your vehicle. Great Plains Auto Body will treat you right and get your vehicle looking like new.