Deer mating season is here, so your chances of being involved in a deer-related crash is at it’s highest. Fall and early Winter is considered to be peak mating season for deer, so be extra cautious of your surroundings while driving between October and December.
Deer Crash Statistics
According to State Farm’s annual deer claim study, Pennsylvania ranked #3 in the country for deer-related car accidents. That means that every time you get behind the wheel in Pennsylvania, there is a 1 in 67 chance of hitting a deer.
The top 10 states at risk for hitting a deer include:
- West Virginia
- South Dakota
- North Dakota
The highest state at risk is West Virginia, with 1 in 43 chances and Hawaii -not surprisingly – being the lowest risk state with 1 in 6,823 chances of hitting a deer while driving.
Under Pennsylvania state law, car accidents involving deer are considered not-at-fault accidents, and insurance companies are not legally allowed to increase policyholders’ premiums. But US drivers still spent an average of $4,179 on insurance claims for deer-related accidents across the country in between July 2016 to June 2017.
How To Avoid Deer-Related Collisions
According to statistics, deer collisions are more likely to occur around dawn and dusk. Daylight savings time ends in November, which will put more drivers on the road during peek deer activity hours. Drivers should be careful to remain alert and focused on the road especially during the early morning and late evening hours. Some other tips for preventing deer-related crashes altogether include:
- Slow down and pay attention to all road signs (i.e. speed limit, deer crossing)
- Wear a seat belt at all times
- Avoid distracting activities while driving like texting or eating
- If you see a deer on the side of the road, proceed with caution and be on the lookout for other deer crossing the road
- Break to avoid hitting deer, but do not swerve
What To Do If You Do Hit A Deer
If you are involved in a deer collision, pull over safely and turn your hazard lights on. Document the incident so that you have all the necessary information if the collision results in injury or property damage.
If you hit a deer and it survives, stay away from the animal be cautious for any sudden movements as deer are unpredictable. However if the deer dies after a collision, The Pennsylvania Game Commission encourages drivers to report the incident as soon as possible to local authorities. You can also call the PA Department of Transportation at 1-800-FIX-ROAD to remove the deer from the road and prevent other motorists from any further danger.
You may not think that it could possibly happen to you, but taking the necessary precautions to avoid a deer-related accident is your best bet to stay safe.