“When you see a deer, your first and best response should be to slow down,” said Kevin Dowling, assistant vice president of Direct Claims at Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company.
Swerving makes a bad situation worse
Fight the urge to swerve when you spot a deer on the road. Swerving to avoid a deer may make a bad situation worse, leading to a more serious accident and injuries.
“You do not want your response and subsequent evasive action to put you at more risk, such as colliding with oncoming traffic or rolling the vehicle in a ditch,” said Dowling. “Using a steering maneuver may not only increase the risk, but confuse the deer.”
Deer-hit claims nearly double during October, November, and December compared to an average month, according to data from Grinnell Mutual. The average deer-hit claim cost nearly $3,300 in 2013. III estimates $4.2 billion is spent on deer-vehicle collisions in the United States each year due to the costs of medical payments, out-of-pocket expenses, and vehicle damage.
What to do if you hit a deer
If you hit a deer, first make sure you and your passengers are okay. If there are no injuries, follow these recommendations from Grinnell Mutual:
Let it be. A struck deer may still be alive and could hurt you or someone else.
Call 911. Report the accident to the local authorities who can remove the deer.
Document the scene. Snap a photo or video of your damaged vehicle and the accident scene. You can easily upload this on the spot or afterwards using Grinnell Mutual’s Manage My Account Mobile. Note where and when the accident happened, whether there were any injuries, and where the damaged vehicle will be located. Gathering this information will help your claims adjuster process your claim more efficiently, getting you back on the road sooner.
Report your claim. Call us at Pardridge Insurance 815-758-4447 to report your claim. If you have Grinnell Mutual insurance, you can submit a claim through Manage My Account Mobile at m.gmrc.com from your smartphone, tablet, or computer.