When drivers and deer see each other on the road, it can be a challenge for each of them to overcome their instincts. The deer caught in the headlights may freeze, while drivers may swerve to avoid the deer.
“When you see a deer, slowing down should be your first reaction,” said Kevin Dowling, Assistant Vice President of direct claims at Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company. “Reacting too quickly with a steering maneuver could expose you to a much greater risk of colliding with oncoming traffic or overturning in a ditch. Both of these are more likely to cause damage and injury than hitting the deer.”
According to the claims division at Grinnell Mutual, deer-hit claims nearly double over the average number of claims during October, November, and December and cost roughly $3,300 per claim.
As you travel on rural roads this season, be aware of deer with these tips from Grinnell Mutual.
Find the other deer. Deer rarely travel alone. If you see one deer there are likely more nearby.
Use high beams. There’s truth to the phrase “a deer caught in the headlights.” The deer’s eyes may reflect the vehicle’s headlights, so use high-beams when there’s no oncoming traffic.
Look for timber and brush. Deer are nocturnal animals and often feed and breed at dusk and dawn. Be aware during these hours, especially when driving near timber, brush, and deer crossing signs.