Updated 11/30/2012 05:00 AM
The Car Coach: Deer vs. cars
Deer crossing the roads pose a very real threat to drivers. Our Car Coach, Lauren Fix, shares tips on how to protect yourself and our wildlife.
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Deer-car collisions can be a very serious situation for drivers. Recent growth in deer populations has led to an increased frequency of deer-car collisions, especially in areas where new construction is taking place.
According to the National Safety Council, there were 530,000 animal-related accidents in 2003 and these collisions resulted in 100 deaths and 10,000 reported injuries.
The average cost per insurance claim for animal-related collision damage is $2,800, with costs varying depending on the type of vehicle and severity of damage. When you factor in auto claims involving bodily injury, the average rises to $10,000.
To avoid become a statistic in a deer-car accident, you need to follow these important tips:
- Be aware of posted deer-crossing signs as they denote unusually high deer populations or frequent deer crossings. Many highway areas are marked with deer crossing signs where there have been numerous deer-vehicle collisions.
- Keep in mind that deer generally travel in herds, especially during the mating season. If you see one deer, assume more will follow.
- Do not rely on devices such as deer whistles, deer fences and reflectors to deter deer. Many of these devices have not been proven to reduce deer-vehicle collisions.
- Brake firmly when you notice a deer in or near your path, but stay in your lane. Many serious crashes occur when drivers swerve to avoid a deer and hit another vehicle or lose control of their cars.
- Two-thirds of all deer-vehicle collisions happen during October, November and December. Daily deer activity peaks at dawn and dusk, which often are peak commuter traveling times.
Follow these simple tips to keep you and your family safe and to protect deer and other wildlife.