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Five Safety Tips for Avoiding a Collision With an Animal

Careful planning yields best results

Deers crossing the road, Driving Resource Center

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Collisions with animals are a serious problem across the United States. The Insurance Information Institute estimates that there are more than 1.6 million vehicle collisions with deer each year, resulting in over $4.6 billion in vehicle damage, medical costs and other expenses.

See also: Aggressive drivers — what can you do?

Knowing the following information about animal collisions can help you reduce your risk.

  1. If an animal jumps out in front of you, do not swerve, but brake quickly.
  2. In most cases, hitting the animal will cause less damage than hitting another vehicle or tree.
  3. Be especially alert at dusk and dawn when visibility can be reduced; 90 percent of collisions with animals occur at these times.
  4. Deer activity peaks from October to December; nearly half of deer collisions happen during these months.
  5. Wooded areas are likely crossing spots for animals, and many, like deer, travel together, so expect more than one animal to cross the road.

What if I hit an animal?

  • Call local law enforcement if you have a collision with an animal; they will direct you to your next step.
  • In some states there are specific requirements if you hit an animal; check with your Department of Motor Vehicles in your state.

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