It’s that time of year again where we see an increase in deer related auto accidents coming in for repairs. While it is not unusual for us to repair “deer hits” throughout the year, we see an increase in these type of accidents between October and January during rut season. For this reason we published an article on how to avoid deer-related auto accidents last month, but what do you do if you are unable to avoid hitting a deer?
If you find yourself unable to avoid hitting a deer while driving, follow these guidelines to minimize the risk of injury and damage:
- Stay Calm:
Try to remain calm and focused. Panic can impair your ability to react appropriately.
- Brake Firmly:
Apply the brakes firmly to reduce the impact speed. This may help minimize damage and decrease the risk of injury.
- Hold the Steering Wheel Steady:
Keep a firm grip on the steering wheel and stay in your lane. Swerving to avoid a deer can lead to more severe accidents, including collisions with other vehicles or objects.
- Don’t Veer into Oncoming Traffic:
Avoid swerving into oncoming traffic or other lanes. Your safety and the safety of others on the road are the top priorities.
- Honk Your Horn:
Sound your horn to try to scare the deer away. This might prompt the deer to move out of your path.
- Brace for Impact:
Brace yourself for impact by pressing your body back into the seat and keeping your hands on the steering wheel.
- After the Collision:
After hitting a deer, move your vehicle to a safe location if possible. Turn on your hazard lights and use warning triangles or flares to alert other drivers.
- Call the Authorities:
Contact local law enforcement to report the incident. They can provide guidance and assistance, especially if there are injuries or if the deer is posing a hazard.
- Do Not Approach Injured Animals:
If the deer is injured but still alive, do not attempt to approach it. Injured wild animals can be unpredictable and may pose a danger. Contact local wildlife authorities to report the incident.
- Document the Incident:
Take photos of the scene, including damage to your vehicle and any relevant road signs or landmarks. This documentation can be useful for insurance purposes.
- Notify Your Insurance Company:
Inform your insurance company about the collision as soon as possible. Provide them with accurate and detailed information about the incident.
Remember that safety is the top priority. If you’re unsure about the condition of the deer or if there are injuries, it’s best to let trained professionals handle the situation. Additionally, following these guidelines can help you navigate the aftermath of a deer collision more effectively.