TIPS ACCORDING TO THE MICHIGAN STATE POLICE*
· Stay aware, awake and sober
· Car-deer crashes occur year-round, but be especially alert in the Spring & Fall
· Signs are placed at known deer crossing areas to alert you of the possible presence of deer
· Deer are herd animals and frequently travel in single file—if you see one cross the road chances are there are more waiting
· Be alert for deer especially at dawn & dusk. If you see one, slow down!
· Don’t rely on ‘gimmicks’ - flashing your high beam headlights or honking your horn to deter them
IF HITTING A DEER IS UNAVOIDABLE…
· DON’T SWERVE! Brake firmly, hold onto the steering wheel and bring your vehicle to a controlled stop. Most serious injuries occur when motorists swerve and hit another vehicle, fixed object or their vehicle rolls over due to sudden maneuvers made.
· After the collision, pull your vehicle safely off to the side of the road, turn on your emergency flashers and be cautious of traffic if you leave your vehicle (NOTE: In most cases, your vehicle remains the safest place to be until help arrives) DO NOT TRY TO MOVE THE ANIMAL—deer have sharp hooves that can severely injure or kill you.
· Report the accident to the nearest police agency (Call 9-1-1)
· If you can, use your phone to take a picture of the damage at the scene
Remember to buckle up, as safety belts are a motorists best defense in the event of a crash!
*-Reprinted from MSP Tips search on Michigan.gov
IF YOU DO HIT A DEER...
THINGS YOU WILL NEED TO TELL YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY:
Is the car drivable? Though you may be able to start the car and move it, it may not be “safe” to drive and driving it damaged may cost YOU additional money. Here are a few things that would declare your car “un-drivable” (any ONE or more of the following):
· Deployed airbags
· Fluids leaking
· Broken headlamps
· Shattered windshield
· Hood is bent into a “V”
· Suspension Damage
Tell them where you want your car repaired. Michigan State Law (Public Act 190 of 2004) states that the consumer has the right to have their vehicle repaired where they want to and that the State identifies that the consumer is the customer in an insurance paid transaction, not an insurance carrier.
Be prepared ahead of time—take a moment to fill in the important information on the back page...choose a repair facility BEFORE you have an accident to help reduce the stress of an accident. Check your Comprehensive Deductible—in a car-deer accident, most good insurance carriers consider these accidents to fall under the comprehensive portion of your auto insurance policy and this is the amount you will owe the repair facility after repairs are completed.
Give them the number of the Police Report. Make sure to give your claim representative any information provided by the police or sheriff.
TAKE OUR QUIZ:
1) Most car deer accidents happen in: a) Winter b) Spring c) Summer d) Fall
2) When you see a deer near the side of the road, you should _______ until you pass them. a) Stop b) Slow down c) Honk and flash lights d) Speed up
3) Most injuries occur in a car deer accident because:
a) People tend to veer b) Windshield intrusion c) Speed d) People hit the deer
4) Most car deer accidents happen on
a) Two Lane Highways b) Major Highways c) Suburban Roads d) Dirt Roads
5) Most car deer accidents occur within one mile of signs warning of deer crossing
a) True b) False
1) The Fall - October, November and December. However, mid-spring also brings the herds close to roadways, so be careful in the Spring also.
2) Slow down and be prepared to stop. Studies have shown that honking or flashing lights has not affected behavior. Speeding up reduces your chances of avoidance. Though not mentioned, ’deer whistles’ have not proven effective in avoidance either.
3) People tend to veer. When they veer they hit other vehicles, stationary objects or cause their vehicle to roll over. Best option is to hit the deer.
4) Two Lane highways. Though it may seem that you see more deer on the side of major highways, the frequency is higher on two lane highways.
5) False. The signs are based on historical patterns. Nationally, suggestions are being made to make these signs temporary which would allow the herd movement patterns to be followed better.