Pennsylvania has the third highest rates of deer collisions in the United States. On average, one in every 63 motorists will hit a deer while driving in Pennsylvania.
Although a deer can run out in front of your car at any time, there is an increased risk between dawn and dusk. Stay extra careful and vigilant during these times.
How to avoid hitting a deer
You may not be able to prevent hitting a deer, but you can take precautions that may reduce your risk of hitting a deer or lessen the impact of the accident.
- Slow down
- Do not swerve
- Avoid distractions
- Use high beams when possible
- Pay attention to warning signs, scan the road
- Tap your breaks, do not slam on them
Additionally, if you see one deer, expect more. Deer often travel in groups.
For your safety and others’, stay alert. Be aware of your surrounding and pay attention to road signs that warn drivers of potential deer crossing. Also, be aware of where other drivers are. Slamming on your brakes or swerving to avoid the deer could cause a collision with another vehicle.
Don’t swerve to avoid the deer
Swerving or slamming on your brakes may increase the severity of the accident. You could hit something else—like a tree or guardrail—or crash into another car. Swerving or otherwise causing a collision with another car is one of the biggest mistakes drivers make. A car collision puts more lives at risk. Instead of being covered under a not-at-fault deer accident, you may now be facing a heightened insurance premium if you caused a collision with another vehicle.
Move to the side of the road
If possible, drive your car to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights. You want to make sure other cars see yours, so they don’t collide with you. It may be best for you to stay in your car until help arrives. If you must get out of your car, stay off the road and be aware of your surroundings.
If you are involved in an accident, be sure to notify the police. In Pennsylvania, collisions that involve injury or death, or prevent the vehicle from being driven, must be reported to the police. You may also be required to inform your insurance agency. Seek medical attention should anyone involved in the accident need it.