Watch out for deer on roadways

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Drivers should be extremely alert for deer while driving in November, which is peak mating season for deer and a time when a large number of deer claims occur. Deer claims are more likely to occur in the early morning or evening hours. In fact, 50 percent of deer claims occur between 5 p.m. and midnight, and another 20 percent of claims occur between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m.

Facts about deer-related collisions

  • 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.

Safe driving tips and precautionary measures

  • Stay alert, awake and sober. Always wear your seatbelt and drive at a safe, sensible speed for conditions. Deliberately watch for deer, particularly when driving during peak collision times.
  • Highest-risk periods are from sunset to midnight and the hours shortly before and after sunrise.
  • When driving at night, use high-beam headlights when there is no opposing traffic. The high beams will illuminate
    the eyes of deer on or near a roadway. Watch for the reflection of deer eyes and for deer silhouettes on the shoulder of the road.
  • High-beam headlights will not necessarily frighten a deer, so do not rely on the high beams to deter deer, but rather rely on the lights to better illuminate the animal.
  • Do not rely exclusively on devices such as deer whistles, deer fences and reflectors to deter deer.
  • Sometimes deer stop in the middle of the road when crossing or cross quickly and come back. Sometimes they move toward an approaching vehicle. Assume nothing, slow down and blow your horn to urge the deer to leave the road. If the deer stays on the road, stop, put on your hazard lights and wait for the deer to leave the roadway; do not try to go around the deer while it is on the road.
  • Deer frequently travel in groups and in single file. If you see one deer on or near the road, expect that others may follow.
  • 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.
  • If you do strike a deer, and are uncertain whether or not the deer is dead, keep your distance, as this is an injured, wild animal with sharp hooves that can inflict injuries. If the deer is blocking the roadway and poses a danger to other motorists, you should report the incident to the Game Commission or a local law enforcement agency.

Filing a claim

In the event of any type of accident, you have the following options to file a claim…

File A Claim

SOURCE: Erie Insurance