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Deer crossing the road creating a risk of collision with a car.

Preventing Wildlife Collisions

October to December are peak months for animal collisions in the United States. Deer are the most commonly hit animal, followed by moose and elk. Approximately 1.9 million animal-vehicle collisions occur each year, with the average damage totaling $3,305.

Here are tips for minimizing animal collisions.

  • Heed yellow animal caution signs and drive below the speed limit in these areas. These signs are usually posted in past collision sites.
  • Be especially aware during evening hours. Most animal-vehicle collisions occur between 9 p.m. and midnight.
  • Use high beams in wooded areas when traffic permits. Bright lights reflect off animal eyes, making them easier to spot.
  • If you see an animal in the road, brake firmly and stay in your lane.
  • Honk or flash your lights to try to scare the animal out of the way.
  • Avoid swerving to miss a deer, since you could wind up hitting another vehicle or a tree or pole. It’s hard to predict how a deer will react at any given moment.
  • If a moose is on the road, which is far more dangerous to you and your vehicle due to its weight, you should look to swerve safely to avoid a collision, however.
  • If you hit an animal, pull over to the side of the road.
  • Do not check on or touch the animal, call the police for assistance.
  • Ensure that you get a police report about the incident. If you have coverage, you’ll need a police report to file your claim.

Animal collisions are covered by the optional comprehensive coverage on your auto policy.

Sources:

https://slate.com/technology/2015/01/deer-car-crashes-how-to-avoid-and-survive-collisions-with-north-americas-deadliest-animals.html

https://exchange.aaa.com/safety/driving-advice/tips-to-avoid-vehicle-animal-collisions/#.Xcw1r-hKjic

https://www.farmersalmanac.com/tips-avoiding-wildlife-collisions-28512

https://www.consumerreports.org/car-safety/how-to-avoid-collisions-with-deer-this-fall

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