It’s Autumn – the leaves are changing and the cool crisp air is upon us and so are the deer. From late October to mid-November deer are in mating seasson and that means the increased presence around our roads. While deer are always a threat to drivers, this time of year the risk of an accident is higher.
Did you know that the average car repair cost from a deer collision is $3,305? That is a pretty hefty sum with Comprehensive coverage you are covered if you hit a live, running or standing deer, (but note…if the deer is dead and you hit it…that falls under collision coverage)
Regardless if you have coverage or not, it’s smart to follow some driving tips to avoid getting into an accident.
According to the Canadian Wildlife Collision Prevention Program there are certain areas that you should pay attention to
- Creeks and drainage that intersect roads
- Good habitat and forage near the roadside
- Water source nearby
- Long, wide, straight stretches of road
Now you may be wondering why that last point is important. Deer aren’t attracted to long roads but drivers tend to feel more secure on a long stretch of road so they may drive faster and not be as observant to animals. Also, when you drive faster it takes longer to stop your car and your reaction time is greatly reduced.
Here are some other points to consider:
- Deer are more active during dusk and dawn when light levels are low.
- Some areas post warning signs where deer or other wildlife are often seen.
- Deer can be unpredictable. Even if standing by the side of the road they can still jump in front of your car.
- Deer also travel in groups. If you see one deer, there are probably more nearby.
- Deer are known to twist and dodge randomly when being chased by a predator. If you see a deer running along the road it could easily turn at a moments notice right into your car.
If you encounter deer or other wildlife along the road slow down. If a crash is inevitable, look to where you want to go and not at the animal. The theory is your vehicle will go where you are looking. Be careful if you are trying to swerve away from the animal. Poor road conditions like rain or snow can cause your car to spin out of control.
The Canadian Prevention Program suggests that you brake firmly and quickly, then look and steer your vehicle to strike the animal at an angle. Let up on the brake just before you hit the animal. This causes the front end of your vehicle to rise and reduces the chances of the animal coming through your windshield.