November is here, and that means it is peak deer season. Avid hunters rejoice while motorists take warning now that mornings and evening commutes are bathed in darkness. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, “Animal-strike-related insurance claims are more than twice as frequent as the yearly average in November, when the search for a mate keeps the big bucks on the move, according to an analysis of claims from 2006 to 2018 conducted by the Highway Loss Data Institute. The severity of claims, measured in dollars insurers pay to cover losses, also soars during the peak month. The average cost of November animal-strike claims over the 13-year period was $3,560, compared with $2,801 for February, the month with the least severe crashes.”
The Farm Bureau Financial Services has released some tips for staying safe during this dangerous time on the roadways.
Tips to Avoid Deer-Vehicle Collisions
- Drive with caution.
- Drive with caution especially in marked deer-crossing zones and along roads surrounded by farmland or forests.
- Be alert during high travel times.
- Be especially attentive around dawn and dusk. Deer tend to be particularly active between 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. These are the highest risk times for deer-vehicle collisions.
- Use high beams.
- Make sure to use your high beams when possible for nighttime driving. High beams will better illuminate the deer’s eyes on or near the road.
- Know their behavior.
- Keep in mind that deer tend to travel in herds and in a single file. If you see one deer, there are likely more behind it.
- Be safe.
- Always wear your seat belt. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that of the 37,133 people killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2017, 47 percent were not wearing seat belts. That year seat belts saved 14,955 lives.
How to Stay in Control when you Encounter a Deer
- If you determine a crash is unavoidable, keep these in mind:
- Don’t swerve.
- Stay in your lane so you don’t move into the path of another vehicle or lose control of yours.
- Be sure to brake firmly and hold onto the steering wheel.
- Remain calm.
- Bring your vehicle to a controlled stop and take the appropriate necessary actions.
We encourage our valued customers and friends to please take the necessary steps to stay safe out on the road this season.