Insurance company Allstate is once again reminding motorists to be on the lookout for crossing deer.
Auto claim data shows vehicle collisions with animals spike in frequency from October through December. Thirty eight percent of claims from animal collisions occur in the last three months of the year, with more than 13,000 recorded animal strikes in the month of November. Allstate customers’ average national repair cost from a vehicle collision with an animal is around $2,800, the insurance company said.
According to the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), insurance claims for damage from collisions with animals rise sharply every fall, coinciding with deer mating season.
“Allstate reminds drivers to pay extra attention on the road for deer and other animals during this time,” said Samuel Whiteman, Allstate claim director. “If you live in areas with large deer populations, you’ll likely see increased activity and unfortunately hear more stories of vehicle collisions with deer.”
Allstate and the Insurance Information Institute have prepared a number of defensive driving tips to limit deer-vehicle collisions. You can pass their advice along to your fleet drivers:
- Be especially attentive from sunset to midnight and during the hours shortly before and after sunrise. These are the highest risk times for deer-vehicle collisions.
- If you see one deer cross, slow down and watch for others to follow.
- Look for movement where roads are bordered by fields or natural habitat.
- Heed deer crossing signs and reduce speed in deer “hot spots.”
- When driving at night, use high beam headlights when there is no oncoming traffic. The high beams will better illuminate the eyes of deer on or near the roadway.
- 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 vehicle.
- Always wear your seat belt. Deer-vehicle collisions can result in serious injuries, and even death.
- Ensure that your brakes and tires are in good working order. A properly functioning vehicle can help if you need to react quickly.
Here are additional tips for drivers that do get into an accident with an animal:
- Dial 9-1-1.
- Do not attempt to touch an injured animal that’s in or near the road. When the police arrive, they will be able to call the proper local authorities to care for the animal.
- Always follow your company's fleet procedures for reporting collisions.