Not only do we share the road with fellow drivers, but we share it with our wildlife too. This can be a lethal combination. Further fuelling the accident prone combination is the increasing development of roads and loss of natural habitat that comes with our development.
Deer migration and mating season runs from October through December, this causes a dramatic increase in deer movement. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates there are approximately 1.5 million auto deer collisions per year, resulting in damage losses of around $1.5 billion USD, which works out to an average cost of $1,000 per accident. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also noted that deer-vehicle collisions in the U.S. cause about 200 fatalities annually.
Mid- State Insurance agency, Inc. would like to remind you that we have you covered in the case of an accident, but would like to offer some deer collision prevention and safety tips:
- Watch for the pack. Deer travel in large groups, and are rarely alone. Once you spot one deer, there are most likely more to follow.
- Wear your seatbelt. If the inevitable happens it’s always best to wear your seatbelt. Not only is it the law, but your seatbelt can help reduce injury or save your life.
- Recognize the time. Deer are most active during the early hours of the morning and late hours of the afternoon. Deer are often spotted at dawn and dusk, both times of minimal lighting. It’s essential to make an effort to drive with extra caution during these times.
- Honk! Experts recommend one long honk of the horn when coming in contact with wildlife, specifically deer. Deer often freeze when caught in the headlights of a motor vehicle, but the sound of a horn can trigger them to run.
- Look for notification. While driving, always make an effort to pay attention to road signs. Yellow signs with deer on them are placed in high-traffic areas for deer. Although seen most in heavily wooded areas, deer can also call suburban landscapes home.