Deer-Car Accidents Are a High Risk in PA.

Each year across the country there are in the neighborhood of 1.5 million deer-car collisions. These accidents result in 10,000 injuries and about 200 deaths.

As a Pennsylvania driver, you’re at high risk for a deer-car encounter. Our state is at the top of the list these accidents, with one in three individuals likely to collide with these large, wild animals each year.

Will Your Policy Will Protect You?

How familiar are you with your auto insurance policy? Make sure your automotive insurance policy is current and that you’re covered if a mishap with nature does occur. Learn the difference between collision and comprehensive coverage. Most importantly, talk with your insurance agent and fully understand what your policy does and doesn’t cover.

Drivers who don’t know the details of their policy can find themselves liable for significant out-of-pocket expenses in the event of a deer-vehicle collision. And unfortunately, when faced with those unexpected costs, some dishonest people try to avoid those expenses by fabricating scenarios that would be covered. But lying on an insurance claim for financial gain is insurance fraud, a serious crime. Read some real-life deer-accident fraud stories.

Bottom line: Fall driving in Pennsylvania is not without risks. Minimize the physical and financial threats of deer breeding season by taking extra driving precautions and by knowing your auto coverage inside and out.

Tips for Steering Clear of Deer

  • Take extra precautions during your fall driving. Most deer and vehicle encounters occur after sunset and before sunrise, with the span between 6 p.m. and 9 a.m. being when deer are most active.
  • Don’t count on deer whistles or deer fences to deter deer from crossing the road in front of you — constantly being on the lookout for deer is your best accident prevention.
  • Staying alert is key to your protection from deer accidents as well. Watch for the reflection of deer eyes and for deer silhouettes on the shoulders of roads. Slow down in areas known to have a deer population, especially rural areas where roads divide farming fields from wooded areas.  
  • Know that when you spot one deer, it usually means there are more nearby. Deer travel in groups — usually single file — so seeing one means there’s likely more to follow. 
  • Understand that deer behavior, particularly during mating season, is unpredictable. Sometimes they come to a complete stop in the middle of the road. Sometimes they cross and quickly circle back. Sometimes they will approach a car or truck moving toward them. Assume nothing: If a deer stays in the road before you, don’t try to go around it. Your safest action is to slow down and blow your horn to urge the deer to leave the road.