How to Steer Clear of Deer (and Save 3,000 Bucks)

Here are a few dos and don’ts for avoiding costly accidents with deer during the winter driving season.

A close-up of a deer.

November marks the last weeks of fall (in most corners of the country) and the beginning of the winter driving season. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, as many as 65 million Americans will travel for the holidays. Coincidentally, November also signals the beginning of deer-mating season, and a related increase in accidents involving cars and deer.

More people driving; more deer getting busy — when you put it together it all makes sense. In fact, the number of animal-collision insurance claims is nearly 3 times higher in November than in other months.

When deer (or any other friendly beasts of the forest) meet the front side of your car, nobody wins. The average deer/car run-in could cost you more than $3,000. And that’s not to mention the emotional cost involved with running over Bambi.

Here are a few dos and don’ts for avoiding costly accidents, and perhaps sparing yourself a few tears in the process.

  • Watch for deer crossing signs and remember that deer are most active between dusk and dawn, particularly between 6:00 and 9:00 p.m.
  • Buckle up. It’s been estimated that in fatal animal crashes, 60% of people killed weren’t wearing seatbelts.
  • Don’t count on deer whistles. There’s no conclusive evidence they work, and instead they can provide a false sense of security.
  • Don’t swerve or slam on the brakes since you could lose control of the vehicle. Brake firmly and steer straight.

Invaluable insurance tip

Although many people think a deer accident is covered under their collision insurance, it’s actually a part of their comprehensive coverage. (Hey, we didn’t make the rules.)

Make sure — especially if you live in an area densely populated with deer — that your comprehensive coverage is up to par and can cover the numerous potential expenses involved with a collision.

In summary, enjoy the winter holidays, but stay safe on the road and watch out for deer dalliances. Spare yourself the unnecessary headache of an accident and save a few bucks in the process. (Yes, pun intended.)

More ways to stay safe on the road this winter

Watching out for deer isn’t the only way to protect yourself while driving this winter. Be ready: Winterize your car in 7 simple steps, and make sure to brush up on your winter driving know-how with these helpful tips. Because truthfully, you can never over-prepare when it comes to snowy or icy driving.

Related links

How to properly transport a Christmas tree
Winterize your home and avoid these 6 extremely unpleasant scenarios
How did Black Friday get its name?

32 Responses to “How to Steer Clear of Deer (and Save 3,000 Bucks)”

  1. Avatar for Heidi Wallis
    November 30, 2014 #

    BLOW your HORN as long as you can if you see them approach ! Where I live there like rabbits EVERWHERE ! Headlines blind them but noise will make them run away . Be alert

    • Avatar for Heidi Wallis
      Jay baker
      November 11, 2015 #

      Perhaps the most useless advice I have ever seen. Having avoided colliding , for the most part, with deer, for 40 yrs. of driving where they are everywhere, please let me offer some actual advice. When you see the reflection of eyes along the berm ? Slow down, do not assume they will stay where they are. They might, they might not, but think of them as preschool kids on meds, who in hell knows what they will do next, including those kids. White tails typically are not loners, the exception is in the Fall when they are looking to procreate , and the males run around 24/7 looking to do their duty. If you see one cross the road ahead of you? Slow way down, like way down, fore right behind that one is the one that will be jumping into your windshield. The advice to never swerve is very sound. For you will always win an encounter , in your car or truck, with a 100# to 300# deer. You swerve into oncoming lane all bets are off. That being said, if you are a skilled driver, and there is no one coming in opposing lane, well so long as you know what you are doing, go for avoiding the animal. But you must know your situation and skill set. Finally, do not beat yourself up if you hit one, the number of Whitetail and their amazing ability to adapt to the urban/suburban environment, just as with their nemesis the coyote, speaks to the amazing capacity for adaptation certain species have for survival. You did not just run over Bambi, you just hit dinner from a Darwinian perspective .

  2. Avatar for Heidi Wallis
    October 27, 2015 #

    I think this was written by a middle school student.

  3. Avatar for Heidi Wallis
    October 31, 2015 #

    By saying don't drive your car, this article might have made some sense. .

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