Deer Season Can Be Dangerous for Drivers

Drivers beware: deer are easily spooked during October and November. On the run from hunters and hormone-laden during mating season, deer are especially active at dawn and dusk.

Four tips to avoid deer accidents:

1. Be attentive when driving! And Slow Down!
2. Use high-beam headlights when driving in deer territory to increase your vision and to increase your time to react to a deer hiding on the roadside who decides to jump in front of your car.
3. The use of car-mounted ‘deer whistles,’ do not seem to affect deer and may result in drivers being less aware. These devices don’t work! Watch out!
4. If a collision with a deer is unavoidable, it is usually best not to swerve to avoid it, brake and hold the wheel straight. If possible, try to aim for the rear of the animal to avoid its flipping onto your car. Turning the wheel to avoid the deer may result in a worse accident with another car, or cause the car to spin out of control resulting a in much more serious crash.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Deer Vehicle Accidents (DVA) each year account for:

*1.5 million car accidents
*$1 billion in vehicle damage
*150 human fatalities
*10,000 personal injuries

The actual numbers are probably higher because the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s figures for deer accidents, rely on inconsistent state reporting- there is no standard reporting of deer accidents in the country yet, and a “reportable deer accident” varies significantly between states.

In an insurance claims statistics study conducted in 2004-2005 the top ten states for deer accidents were listed. According to this study, Pennsylvania drivers experience more deer collisions than any other state. The number of accidents increases with the deer migrating and mating season which occurs between the months of October and December.

Worst states for deer collisions based on total number of claims filed with one of the countries largest auto insurers:

1) Pennsylvania 2) Michigan 3) Illinois 4) Ohio 5) Georgia 6) Minnesota 7) Virginia 8) Indiana 9) Texas 10) Wisconsin