Over 18,000 deer vehicle collisions occurred on Ohio roadways in 2017. 4,000 of those accidents were reported for the month of November by the Ohio Depart of Public Safety. Unfortunately deer don’t realize all the mayhem they cause just by being deer.
How can you prevent a Deer Vehicle Collision?
Deer are much more active from October-December and during the times of 5 am – 8 am and 5 pm – 8 pm.
During these times it’s important to be extra cautious and to scan the area. Look for eyes, any movement and any road signs indicating deer are near.
Use your brights! Those are never a bad thing to have especially during the times deer are most active. Your high beams will allow you to spot their reflective eyes and to react sooner if there’s a deer or other wildlife in the road. Just make sure to kill the brights when there’s another car approaching.
But what if the deer vehicle collision is unavoidable?
● If your seat belt isn’t on at the moment, it definitely needs to be. You are more likely to be injured without it!
● Do not swerve! Swerving to avoid an animal can lead to a more serious accident. Drivers who swerve to prevent colliding with wildlife and end up causing another accident can be charged for an at-fault accident. Swerving can also cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
● Put your foot on the breaks or stay at your current speed. Do not accelerate and again, stay in your lane. Move your head out of the way of the windshield as much as possible before your vehicle and the animal collide.
● Check on yourself and anyone else in the car. Pull over to the side and put your hazards on.
● Call your local police. Not only if someone is injured or if another accident occurred but when animals like dog, deer, goats or pigs are hit by a vehicle you are required to call the authorities.
● Stay away from the animal until authorities arrive. It’s natural to want to help the animal if they’re only injured, however, injured or frightened animals can be dangerous. If the animal is dead though, you can move the animal away from the road (or the authorities can)
● If you decide to file a claim with your insurance company, make sure you document the scene with any pictures showing damages to your vehicle and of the animal. The
average insurance claim for a deer-vehicle collision in Ohio was more than $4,400.