How To Avoid Collisions with Deer

Avoid collisions with deer. According to the NHTSA, there are around 1 million accidents involving deer every year and 200 fatalities.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Oct 20, 2021

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Fall is the prime season when deer come out of hiding
  • Be cautious of your surroundings can help you avoid hitting a deer
  • Never swerve to avoid hitting a deer

Fall is not a fun time for deer, drivers or many auto insurance holders. September to December marks a big rise in auto insurance claims due to deer collisions. Learn how to avoid deer collisions and keep your reasonable rates.

Cautious drivers are far less likely to be involved in deer collisions. In fact, there are a number of common sense tips that can help all drivers avoid animals on the road.

Here are a few items to keep in mind as you start driving around these next few months.

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Deer Travel in Groups

Like teenage girls, deer do not travel alone. Where this is one deer, there is a group. Sometimes the groups can be as small as two deer. Other times the groups can blow up to numbers higher than 20.

When you see a deer, slow down and stop if you need to. Never swerve or try to go around the deer.

This is the best way to keep you out of the auto insurance office.

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Flicking Your High Beams Can Cause a Frozen Deer to Move

There is a real reason for the phrase “a deer in headlights.” Deer will often freeze in fear when the bright lights of a car are on it.

Unfortunately for you, they often freeze right in the middle of the road.

Here is a trick to try to get that deer to get out of your way.

Try flashing your lights at the deer.

This can often wake the deer from the fear of frozen state and get them out of your way.

Another trick with flickering lights doesn’t pertain to you. Oncoming traffic can signal the presence of an auto insurance nightmare.

Flickering lights or even no lights can signal potential danger.

Don’t Swerve to Miss the Deer

There are times when you just can’t avoid having to tell your auto insurance agent that you hit a deer. Regardless of how vigilant you may be, sometimes deer just get in the way. When this happens, don’t swerve to miss a deer.

Here’s why it’s a problem. Let’s say a deer runs out in front of you.

You cross the center line to avoid said deer.

You run head-on into another motorist. A collision will cost you more auto insurance headaches than just hitting your breaks and hitting the deer.

You can do more damage trying to avoid a deer than just hitting it.

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Mind Your Surroundings

The surrounding area you are traveling through can play a large part in your deer encounters. There are obviously going to be fewer deer in a city than in the cornfields of Iowa.

Keep your location in mind as you drive along.

Forests in low-lying areas are a big issue for deer. These areas provide the perfect ingredients to produce mosquitoes and biting flies. Just as these pests drive humans nuts, deer are not so happy with them either.

This often leads to deer running across the road and causing you an auto insurance headache.

Watching out for Bambi is your primary job for the next few months. Deer will be on the move more than ever.

Keep these tips in mind as you drive across this great country. Avoiding a deer will help to keep you safe and to avoid an increase in your auto insurance rates.

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