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    Avoiding Collisions with Deer

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Insurance

    Wed, Feb 15, 2017 @ 11:53 AM

    Avoid automobile accidents with deer and other animals with this auto information from Gordon InsuranceOne of the more unpredictable and dangerous things drivers tend to forget about is the possibility of hitting a deer.  If you live and drive in a city one hundred percent of the time, stop reading this post or come back to it in 20 years when deer are forced into cities, too. 

    If you live outside the 128 belt however, deer are everywhere and particularly active in the fall.

    Perhaps you still think that a collision with a deer is unlikely; according to the National Safety Council there are roughly 530,000 animal-related accidents per year.   Accidents with deer are 

    Rut is on

    disproportionately high in October, November and December, both because colder weather

     changes feeding patterns, and the rut in late fall, when deer mate and hormones are surging in males and females alike

    Also, depending on what type of car you drive, you could be looking at serious damage or bodily injury from a collision with a deer.  Our children's drivers’ ed instructor, a former state trooper, warns fledgling drivers about how he and his partner hit a large buck and totaled their police car.

    The I.I.I. lists several steps you can take to avoid unnecessary collisions with deer:

    1. Have you ever heard the expression ‘lone wolf’? Yeah, that doesn’t apply to deer. It is very rare for deer to travel alone; if you see one by the side of the road, slow down and keep your eyes peeled. Others are most likely nearby.
    2. Pay attention to deer crossing zones; as obvious as this may sound, drivers typically notice road signs like speed limits and tend to ignore deer crossing signs. If a municipality is willing to fork over the money to erect a sign for deer, there must be a significant deer presence. Proceed with caution.
    3. Drive carefully at dawn and dusk. These are active times for deer, and statistically the most likely time for you to hit one.
    4. When driving at night, use high-beams when there is no on-coming traffic. Deer on the side of the road will be much easier to see, and their eyes reflect the light brightly, even at a distance.
    5. If you encounter a deer, blow your horn with one sustained blast to scare them away. Be aware that they might run into the street though, so brake when you do so.
    6. If there is a deer in your path, brake firmly but DO NOT SWERVE. Minor crashes become serious crashes when drivers swerve into oncoming traffic or off the road.
    7. Do not rely on "deer whistles" or "deer reflectors." There is no evidence to suggest that these devices are even marginally effective.

    Call us or your existing insurance agent if you do hit a deer and report any damage to your car. Animal collisions are included under "comprehensive" coverage (not collision - go figure) with your auto policy.

    Learn more about other auto insurance options here.

     

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    Tags: auto, insurance, hitting, animal, car, accidents, deer

    Avoid Collisions with Deer and other Animals

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Mon, Jul 14, 2014 @ 10:00 AM

    Everyone has seen a squirrel, bird, deer, or some sort of creature while driving. Here in Massachusetts, those are some of the most common animals we encounter on the road, alongDeer, agordon, deer collisions.png with possums, cats, foxes, and more.  Collisions with these animals are unfortunate and some, such as collisions with deer, can be outright dangerous.  Curiously, collisions with deer and other animals are not considered "collisions, but rather "comprehensive" here in Massachusetts.  

    According to data recently released by Farmers Insurance, 36% of auto insurance claims with animals happen between September and November.  So be especially vigilant in the fall.

    Here are some tips to avoid wild animal crashes. 


    1. Look for the eyes of an animal, especially at night. Just the other day after work, I was driving home  and saw two glowing yellow circles to my left. I slowed down, and sure enough, a small mammal was on the road.  (Light reflects back from many animals' eyes because of the tapetum lucidum, a part of the eye that helps nocturnal creatures see better at night)

    2. Keep your car windshield and mirrors clean so you have no trouble seeing the animals.

    3. If you see one animal, slow down and proceed slowly. It is common for animals such as deer and turkey to travel in groups (deer in a herd, and turkeys in a gang, or rafter), so if you see one, there's a good chance you will see more. 

    deer, fawns, collisions with deer.png

    4. DO NOT SWERVE. Even if you can't see any more cars or creatures in another lane, accidents often occur when drivers swerve to avoid animals.  Brake as you need to, and come to a stop if necessary to let them pass.  At least here in New England we don't have many really huge animals like cattle ranging our highways, but a mature deer can total your car and put passengers in the hospital.

    5. BE AWARE of your surroundings before SLAMMING THE BRAKES...unless the animal is big enough to caused damage or redirect your vehicle. While you may feel guilty for hitting a squirrel, for example, by slamming the brakes to save its life, you may cause a driver behind you to rear end your car.  While sad, sometimes it's better to hit the animal and avoid a multi-car collision or collision with a tree or stone wall. 

    6. Pay attention to signs warning of animal activity in the area.  These signs are often put there after other collisions.

    7. Wearing a seat belt greatly decreases the chances of fatalities in deer-car collisions. 

    8.  If you do hit an animal, do not approach it, as an injured wild animal could hurt you. Pull over to the side of the road, put on your emergency flashers, and call the local police (or emergency services if people are hurt). Report the incident to your insurance agent as soon as possible.  

    Remember: An accident with a deer (or other animal) is NOT considered a collision: it is covered under "Comprehensive".  Don't know why, but that's the way it is here in Massachusetts.

    Overall, the best way to avoid animal collisions is to be alert and drive the speed limit. Be on the lookout especially in wildlife areas (the woods in Norwell count!) and in neighborhoods with children and pets. Drive safely!

    Some of the tips in this article were provided by defenders.org and towns.k12.ga.us. Learn more about auto insurance here, or use the buttons below to contact us.

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    Tags: damage, auto, insurance, dogs, car, animals, wildlife, deer, animals on the road, deer in headlights, collision prevention

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