Driving tips for sharing the road with deer:
- Always wear a seat belt. Seat belts prevent occupants from being tossed around the vehicle following impact with a deer or other unexpected object.
- Focus. Deer appear unexpectedly and move quickly. It is important to be alert behind the wheel as there may be very little time to react. Deer tend to be active at dawn, dusk and night-time hours. Be watchful in areas where road signs indicate deer are common. Follow speed limits; keep a watchful eye on the road and road side; avoid driving distractions.
- Honk the horn. Deer usually travel in groups. If you see a deer near the roadway, blast the horn to scare others that may be nearby.
- Use high beam headlights at night whenever possible. Bright lights illuminate the deer's eyes and give the driver extra seconds to react.
- Hit the deer rather than swerving or braking suddenly. You may lose control if you abruptly change the path of your vehicle. Better to hit the deer than a tree, post or oncoming car. Take your foot off the gas; remain in your lane; grip the steering wheel; brace for impact.
- Pull off the road in a safe place and call for assistance if you hit a deer. Request medical help if there are injuries. Do not get out to check on the deer. Stay inside your car until help comes or it is safe to move the vehicle.
Colliding with a deer can cause serious vehicle damage. People often turn to an insurance company for help with repair costs. Owners must have comprehensive (sometimes called other-than-collision) to proceed with a claim for the damaged vehicle following a deer-hit accident. Swerving to avoid the deer and hitting another car or fixed object is a collision claim. Both comprehensive and collision typically have deductibles. Liability-only policies provide no coverage for deer-related vehicle repair costs.