Avoid Vehicle-Deer Collisions
There are steps you can take to decrease the likelihood of being involved in a deer-vehicle collision. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources estimates that the white-tail deer population is slightly more than 1 million. A significant number of the deer are found in North Georgia. Getting educated and taking precautions can make a difference.
The following facts can be helpful in avoiding deer-related collisions:
When driving, the Georgia Insurance Information Service (GIIS) recommends taking the following precautions:
- Deer aren't just found on rural roads near wooded areas. Many deer crashes occur on busy highways near cities.
- Deer are unpredictable, especially when faced with glaring headlights, blowing horns and fast-moving vehicles. They often dart into traffic.
- Deer often move in groups. If you see one, there are likely more in the vicinity.
In the event your vehicle strikes a deer, try to avoid going near or touching the animal. A frightened and wounded deer can hurt you or further injure itself, warned the GIIS. If the deer is blocking the roadway and poses a danger to other motorists, you should call the police immediately.
- Drive with caution when moving through deer-crossing zones, in areas known to have a large deer population and in areas where roads divide agricultural fields from forestland.
- Always wear your seat belt and stay awake, alert and sober.
- When driving at night, use high beam headlights when there is no oncoming traffic. The high beams will better illuminate the eyes of deer on or near the roadway.
- Be especially attentive from sunset to midnight and during the hours shortly before and after sunrise. These are the highest risk times for deer-vehicle collisions.
- Brake firmly when you notice a deer in or near your path, but stay in your lane. Many serious crashes occur when drivers swerve to avoid a deer and hit another vehicle or lose control of their cars.
- Do not rely on devices such as deer whistles, deer fences and reflectors to deter deer. These devices have not proven effective.
Contact your insurance agent or company representative as quickly as possible to report any damage to your car. Collision with a deer or other animals is covered under the comprehensive portion of your automobile policy.