We are starting to come into what we in the collision business call “deer season”. As the weather starts to change and the vegetation gets thin, deer have to travel farther in order to get their food. Also, in November and December deer breeding season starts and it causes the deer to move around a lot more. Learn the important steps after hitting a deer.
According to State Farm statistics, California has only a 1 in 1046 chance of being in an accident with a deer. This makes California one of the lowest risk states for a deer related accident. However, this includes a lot of dense areas that deer do not reside. It can be misleading for us in Northern California that know the true risk of the fall season and deer related accidents in our more rural areas.
The most careful drivers still run the risk of deer related accidents. If you are in a deer related accident, follow these 6 important steps after hitting deer.
1. Verify no one in the vehicle is hurt.
The safety of the people in your car should be the first priority. Make sure no one was hurt in the accident. If anyone is injured, immediately call 911.
2. Pull your vehicle to a safe spot
Once you have verified that everyone in your car is ok, move to a safe spot on the side of the road. Turn on you road hazard lights. The hazard lights will make other drivers aware that they need to slow down and be careful of your car and the potential deer in the road.
3. Contact the local police
If there is a deer on the road, it is important that the authorities remove the animal and prevent further accidents. Call your local police agency and notify them of the situation.
4. Take lots of photos
Take plenty of photographs of the road, your surroundings, and damage. This can be helpful for filing an insurance claim. How you handle the claim is very important.
5. Stay away from the animal
A wounded deer could hurt you or itself. You may be tempted to move it off the road for safety, but the danger to you from the animal and traffic is too great. Leave the moving of the animal to the experts.
6. Call your insurance company
If you plan to make a claim to repair your car, you should call your insurance company immediately. Depending how you file your claim, your insurance premium may go up if you decide to make a claim. Be very careful in the way you state your claim. The verbiage you use can change your claim. If “you hit a deer”, it implies you caused the accident and you owe a deductible. If the “deer hit you”, it’s an act of nature and there is no deductible or accident points on your insurance.
If you are in a deer related accident in Northern California, contact Collision Pros with locations in Auburn, Chico, Paradise, Red Bluff and Woodland.