Oh, Deer!

Deer Incidents

We have seen an uptick in the number of deer/car accident in the past 7-10 days.  For deer hunters, this is a positive sign as bucks are coming into rut and are quite active.

Although we are in Michigan, our neighbors at The Ohio Insurance Institute report that accidents spike from October to January, which is the height of deer mating and migration season. Deer are most active at dusk and dawn (from 5pm to midnight and 5am to 8am).  Unfortunately, this is also the time during which most cars are travelling on the roadways.

Below are a few reminders to help prevent an accident.

Steer Clear of Deer

  • Watch for deer between sunset and midnight, and during pre-dawn hours when they’re most active.
  • Slow down in posted deer-crossing areas.
  • If you see 1 deer, remember that others are probably nearby.
  • Use high beams at night in deer territory when there is no oncoming traffic.
  • If a deer is frozen in your headlights, honk your horn in a loud, sustained blast.
  • Don’t rely on deer whistles or roadside reflectors; they have not been proven effective.
  • If you can’t avoid a deer, brake and stay in your lane. Don’t endanger other vehicles.
  • If you strike a deer, do not touch the animal. It may harm you or further injure itself.
  • Call police immediately if you hit or are hit by a deer.
  • Take pictures of the accident scene and vehicle damage for your insurance claim.

Sources: Insurance Information Institute. Mitch Wilson, Ohio Insurance Institute.

If you are involved in an incident with a deer, please remember to report the claim to your insurance company.  You will be required to secure an estimate for the damages sustained to your vehicle and make arrangements to have it repaired.  Your claim may be subject to a deductible

depending on the type of coverage you elected. If you have opted not to have physical damage coverage for your vehicle, then there would be no coverage for the damage sustained.

If you have questions or would like to discuss your auto policy coverages, please contact your Personal Lines Account Manager at Olivier-VanDyk Insurance Agency at 616-454-0800.