Deer are located in all of the US states. Roads and vehicles also operate in all the states. Therefore, accidents between the two are bound to occur. Deer populations are on the rise in many areas as well, so the likelihood of hitting a deer has increased over recent years.
In West Virginia over 1/2 the drivers on the road hit a deer annually, according to a recent State Farm study. That is a lot of deer hit.
Preventing deer collisions is hard to do, since deer can be unpredictable. The first simple thing you can do is drive with your high beams on when there is no other traffic. This is because you will see the deer quicker, but also the deer will see you quicker. If you should see a deer on the road or close to the road, slow down. Deer are rarely alone. They are a herd animal, so when one animal crosses the street another one most likely will be following. Be extra cautious when you are an agricultural zone or areas that you know to have larger populations of deer.
If you are in a situation where a deer is in your path. Hit the deer! Do not swerve to miss an animal. As an insurance agent, I can’t tell you how many times clients called and said they swerved for a deer and hit oncoming traffic or a tree instead. Yeah, that is good news for the deer, but you are more likely to get injured in these types of collisions. It’s really a safer choose and most likely the cheapest option to hit the animal, instead of something or someone else. And always wear you seat belt; it really does reduce your chance of injury.
Hitting an animal is covered under the insurance option called comprehensive coverage. It is technically not considered an accident for insurance purposes to just hit an animal.This sometimes has a lower deductible than the collision options on the policy. You’ll have to look over your policy to see your coverage and deductibles. Hitting anything other than an animal is considered a collision and that is a different coverage on your insurance.
Okay, so after you’ve hit an animal, you should pull over and get your composure because you will probably be breathing heavy and feeling bad. Next assess the condition of the animal (if it hasn’t run off), and avoid contact with the animal. If it is injured, but not dead. Do not shoot it. This can get you into trouble. You will want to call 911 and get an officer on the scene before making a next move. You will then shortly after get in contact with your insurance company to get your vehicle accessed and repaired. This type of coverage is pretty straight forward and should be resolved with very little complications.