Deer in the headlights LOOK! Let’s hope not!
We were hoping to get this posted before we had the first deer claim this year. Bad news it didn’t happen. First claim in the books.
WOW, Indiana has more than 14,000 deer-vehicle related collisions reported annually according to DNR. The weather is changing and if you are like us, you have noticed that the deer have been out and on move. We’ve compiled information to share with you to keep your family vehicle out of this statistic.
“Prime-Times” Collisions are Occurring
Dawn & Dusk
While you can commonly see a dear anytime of the day in Indiana, dawn and dusk are when deer are most active, foraging for food. It is also the times that can be the hardest to see due to poor road conditions – foggy, icy, or wet. Give yourself appropriate stopping distance, that may be more than your typical distance depending on the conditions you are dealing with.
Another time to be more aware is in Autumn. Deer are mating in the fall, and are more focused on a potential mate showing less caution at road sides then other times of the year.
People – Anytime
Then there is us, people causing problems. People stopping near roadsides to see wildlife in the field can cause other traffic issues for those continuing on the road. Even people swerving into oncoming traffic to avoid hitting any type of wildlife can compound a collision and cause more issues.
Tips To keep you and your Family Safe:
- Never Never Swerve: Our roadways have other drivers we need to be cautious of, even in times like these. Should you be on a rural road without much traffic there is still your safety to be concerned about in case you were to lose control when swerving. Applying your brake and hitting a deer is much safer than swerving to avoid hitting one. While it sounds cruel, it’s the safest move you can make.
- If you hit a deer its a “not a fault accident”, if you swerve and hit something else or roll you vehicle over it counts as a “at fault accident”. So just be aware and slow down.
- If you’ve already spotted a deer there are probably more lingering around as well. It is their nature to follow each other, especially when frighten and one begins to run.
- Seatbelts & General Safety Laws: This should go without being said since wearing your seatbelt is the law, but we will say it anyways – Wear Your Seatbelt!
What to do if you hit a deer:
- Move your vehicle to a safe place: Pull over to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights. Like mentioned before the best time for these accidents is at dusk and dawn so you want to make sure other drivers see you.
Stay Away from the Animal!
If necessary, call the Police: If more then just your vehicle is involved you will want to call the police to get a report of the situation. If your car has significant damage and you would like the support of an officer while you wait for other help. Even if there are no other vehicles involved and you would just like a report for your own records, that is duty of our Police Department to come out and assist.
- Call us (317-867-5433): Once you get to safe spot and we can get a claim started for you. If it’s after business hours you can find the claim number to your insurance company on our webpage. We will need general information about where it happened, when it happened, and if the vehicle is able to drive. Please don’t forget to include if you contact the Police Department.
- Pictures & Estimates: Photo documenting an accident is so easy these days you can take pictures of the damage and quickly email them to us (INFO@insurewithdean.com). Also getting an estimate of the damage is always helpful when determining how to proceed.
- Keep Smiling: An accident is never an exciting event, but there is no reason to get frustrated about it. We’ve got your back and will walk you through it!
Since we are your insurance agents we have some insurance facts for you too. We find these interesting and you may as well. First, remember that if you just hit the deer it is a “not at fault” accident. According to Insurance Journal, nearly 45% of deer-vehicle collisions occurred have been recorded between October and December. The majority of these accidents are happening on State Roads (36%), the next most common place is County Roads (28%), and then U.S. Routes (17%).
In 2016 the total cost for deer-vehicle collisions was estimated to be $119 million based on the average estimated cost per collision. Now, here is some information we certainly hope you won’t need for a deer-vehicle collision, but is good to keep in your back pocket. The MedPay portion of your auto coverage covers any injuries caused to people inside your vehicle. We recommend $10,000/person in coverage so that should you need medical assistance extending past 1 year after the claim you can still receive it. Carrying this higher limit allows the funds to be available for 3 years.
Questions about your coverage? Or just questions in general? Let us know, we are here to help!