More of them take place in October, November & December.
Baltimore, Md (KM) Collisions between large animals and motor vehicles occur throughout the year. But AAA Mid-Atlantic says during the fall months, there are more crashes between cars and deer.. “And this time of year, the period between October ad December–especially November, in fact–are particularly common in this region for deer strikes as we’re in the middle of the mating season,” says Ragina Ali, the Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.
The auto club says this period is known as the:”rut,” where male white tailed deer are seeking a suitable mate, and stop for very little, including motor vehicles. “Especially with the daylight savings time also ending, they’re most often seen during dawn and dusk periods. So between 5:00 AM and 8:00 AM, and 5:00 PM and 8:00 PM, she says.
The US Department of Transportation says there are an estimated one million to two million collisions between vehicles and large animals, such as deer, each year, resulting in 200 human deaths, thousands of injuries and more than $8-billion in damage to vehicles.
AAA says the average cost of an animal strike claim in Maryland in 2021 is $4,999.
Ali says not all insurance policies cover damage from deer strikes. “Insurance that actually covers a crash with a deer or an animal is comprehensive coverage,” she says. “So you want to make sure you have that in addition to collision coverage because that is actually the insurance type that covers any sort of incident or crash with a deer.”
One way you can avoid a collision with a deer is to pay attention to road signs featuring a picture of a deer. That means there’s a lot of deer activity in that area. “Use high beams when there is no oncoming traffic. It can help you spot animals sooner,” says Ali. “Sometimes the light reflecting off their eyes will help you reveal their location.”
The auto club says remember that deer and other animals can travel along the sides of roads so look side to side as well as in front when driving.
And if your vehicle collides with a deer, Ali says call 911. . “Avoid making contact with a deer or animal. A frightened or wounded animal can hurt your or further cause you to injure yourself,” Ali says. “Make sure you put your vehicle’s hazard lights on whether it’s light or dark outside. And if it’s possible, certainly immediately move your vehicle to a safe location out of the roadway and wait for help to arrive,” she says.
If you see a deer in the middle of the road while driving, AAA says don’t swerve to avoid it. But stay in your lane with both hands on the wheel. “Swerving away from animals can sometimes confuse them so they don’t know where to run. It also can you put in the path of oncoming vehicles, or cause you to crash into something like a lamp post or a tree,:” Ali says.
By Kevin McManus