I live in a neighborhood that is teeming with deer (and coyotes, foxes, rabbits and geese) and as the days are getting shorter, I am more vigilant when driving so as not to have an accident with one of the furry critters. Ask my partner, Jennifer Seate. She hit one of them as she was exiting my neighborhood last year. I was reading on the N.C. Department of Transportation’s website that the majority of deer related collisions occur between October and December as it is both mating and hunting season. It is especially hazardous between the hours of 5:00pm and 7:00am. The DOT shared some helpful hints and I found a few more online:
- Drive slowly.
- Keep a sharp lookout, particularly during the hours mentioned above and in any area where deer crossing signs are posted.
- If driving at night, use your high beams.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Don’t look just straight ahead but scan the areas to the left or right for deer near the side of the highway. If using your high beams, you should be able to see the glow of their eyes.
- Remember, deer travel in herds. If you see one, there are bound to be more so don’t think you are safe just because you dodged one crossing the highway. More may be coming.
- Most importantly, if a deer jumps out in front of you, do NOT swerve to avoid the deer. You will increase your chances of flipping your vehicle.
If you do hit a deer, the damage to your vehicle should be paid for under your comprehensive coverage. If you swerve to avoid the deer, and end up hitting something else, your damage will probably be paid under your collision coverage, which has more of a chance of your rates going up. By driving prudently and following the above tips will hopefully keep you safe from having an accident with a deer.