Find out how to avoid hitting a deer on the roadway with these tips.

Updated: May 29, 2019

"Overall, large animal collisions dropped slightly to 1.33 million in the U.S. between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018," said Dalila Namy, a State Farm agent. "This is despite the fact that there are nearly 4 million more licensed drivers."


Nationally — according to State Farm claims data and information from the Federal Highway Administration — drivers are most likely to hit a deer in West Virginia, where the odds are 1 in 46, Montana, with 1 in 57 odds, and Pennsylvania, at 1 in 63.


Deer collisions more than double in the months of October, November and December, during deer mating season. So far in November, we have repaired 10 deer/car hit vehicles and many others were a total loss.


In Iowa, deer are overpopulated in some parts of the state, causing environmental concerns on top of issues with driver safety.


But there are steps that can be taken to help prevent accidents, such as using high beams and taking extra caution during dawn and dusk.


The Department of Environmental Conservation says this is because deer are most active during these times, and drivers are least likely to see them. The department also offers tips:


SLOW DOWN

If you see a deer on the side of the road, slow down.

Deer are easily spooked and have a habit of bolting into traffic and changing directions quickly.


By decreasing your speed, you have more time to react if a deer runs out in front of you.


WAIT FOR MORE

It's not about just slowing down if you see one deer crossing the road.

Deer tend to travel in groups. So if you see one, there is a good chance that it is not alone.

So make sure to look for more oncoming deer.


DON'T SWERVE

The state also recommends that if you see a deer on the street that you break firmly and don’t try to swerve away.


Swerving into another lane increases a driver’s chance of hitting another car or going off the road.


Braking, when possible, can give the deer and the driver a chance to get away safely.


CHECK THE SIGNS

Extra caution should be taken on roads with deer-crossing signs.


There's a reason those signs are there, after all.


The signs are put in places where cars have hit deer in the past, and drivers should expect to see an abundance of deer in those areas.


STAY CLEAR

If you should collide with a deer while driving, it's important to keep away from it.


A scared or hurt deer is still able to hurt you with its sharp hooves if you get too close to it.

The best thing to do after hitting a deer is to stay in your car and find a safe place if possible.

Pulling over to the side of the road and turning on your hazard lights will allow other vehicles to avoid running into you or your car.


IF YOU HIT A DEER

The next thing to do after hitting a deer is to call the police.


It’s important to report the accident, and let the authorities know if the deer is blocking traffic.


If there is more than $1,000 in property damage, you have to file an official report.


You should also look to see if your vehicle is safe before you drive it again.


That includes checking for any leaking fluids, broken lights or flat tires.


If you can drive the car, give us a call to stop by for an estimate. If it's not drivable, have a tow truck drop it off to us and we will take it from there.

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