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.
- If an animal jumps out in front of you, do not swerve, but brake quickly.
- In most cases, hitting the animal will cause less damage than hitting another vehicle or tree.
- Be especially alert at dusk and dawn when visibility can be reduced; 90 percent of collisions with animals occur at these times.
- Deer activity peaks from October to December; nearly half of deer collisions happen during these months.
- 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.