Watch out for deer!

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, each year there are an estimated 1.5 million deer-vehicle collisions nationwide, causing damage, injuries and even death.

By taking precautions, you can reduce your risk.

Watch your watch…and your calendar:

  • Most deer-vehicle collisions occur in the months of October, November, and December, particularly during hunting season.
  • The peak collision period is the first two weeks of November.
  • Other high-risk times include the last week of October and the month of January.
  • The highest-risk hours are between sunset and midnight and shortly before and after sunrise.

Be cautious:

  • Stay awake, alert and sober, and always wear your seatbelt.
  • Drive at a safe, sensible speed for conditions.
  • Increase the distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you, especially in wooded areas.
  • Deliberately look for deer, particularly when driving during peak collision times.
  • Be extra cautious in areas where deer commonly cross roads and where roads divide fields from forests.
  • When driving at night, use high-beam headlights (which illuminate deer eyes) when there is no opposing traffic

When deer are near:

  • Slow down and blow your horn to urge the deer to leave the road – never rely on devices such as deer whistles, deer fences, and reflectors to deter deer.
  • If the deer stays on the road, stop, put on your hazard lights, and wait for the deer to leave the roadway.
  • Never try to drive around a deer while it’s on the road.
  • Never swerve your vehicle to avoid striking a deer. If a collision is imminent, hit the deer while maintaining full control of your vehicle.

If a crash happens:

  • Keep your distance to avoid injuries.
  • Keep an eye out for other deer, as they frequently travel single-file in groups.
  • If the deer is blocking the roadway, contact the Game Commission or a local law enforcement agency.

Are you looking for ways to save on your auto insurance?

For more information, drop by our website at, or get in touch with me.

The information in this post is general in nature, and geared toward insurance conditions in Western New York.  As always, you should speak with an insurance adviser to determine your specific insurance needs.

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