Avoid the deer caught in your headlights

There’s a reason “like a deer caught in headlights” is a popular saying — both the deer and the driver tend to freeze in shock before a deer-vehicle collision.

People are twice as likely to hit deer during deer season, which runs from October through December.

 

Preventative measures

As you travel on rural roads this season, follow these tips from the Insurance Information Institute (III) to avoid injuries to both you and deer in your path:

  1. Be cautious during high-risk travel times. Deer are nocturnal animals that search for food at night, so the most dangerous times for driving in deer territory are at dusk and dawn. Be extra careful around heavily wooded areas and wherever you see a deer-crossing road sign.
  2. Watch for the “plus one.” If one deer is spotted, there are likely more nearby, so slow down and look for its friends.
  3. Use high beams when possible. The deer’s eyes may reflect the vehicle’s headlights, so use high beams if there’s no oncoming traffic.
  4. Always wear your seat belt. Most people injured in deer-vehicle crashes were not wearing their seat belt.
  5. Slow down and blow your horn. One long blast will help frighten the deer away.
  6. Break firmly but stay in your lane. If you notice a deer in or near your path, do not swerve. Instead, break firmly and stay in your lane. Swerving causes drivers to lose control and possibly hit other vehicles, road signs, or roll the vehicle.

Oh deer!

If you hit a deer, first make sure you and your passengers are okay. Stay calm and follow these steps:

  1. Don’t approach the deer. A struck deer may still be alive and could hurt you or someone else.
  2. Call 911. Report the accident to the local authorities who can remove the deer.
  3. Document the scene. Snap a photo or video of your damaged vehicle and the accident scene. Gathering this information will help your claims adjuster process your claim faster.

Report your claim

Save yourself time following the steps below.

Go to Manage My Account (MMA)Watch how to file a claim online using MMA

You can also report a claim by calling 877-467-2252.

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