How to Avoid Deer-Related Car Accidents - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Oct 14, 2019

How to Avoid Deer-Related Car Accidents

Knowing the facts about deer activity in the fall can help you stay safe on the road and avoid accidents.

As winter approaches, deer-related car accidents are more likely to occur. While October through January is mating season for deer in New York, deer are also more likely to move during the winter months looking for food and shelter. This means deer are more likely to be active and make inconvenient strolls across the road.

Our Claims Specialists weighed in on a few key points you should know:


You are more likely to hit a deer between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.

If possible, adjust your driving times to be in your vehicle before 7 p.m. and after 7 a.m. Obviously this isn’t always possible, as work schedules and deer schedules will have to mix at some points. However, if you can leave earlier or later, driving during daylight hours is a good way to avoid a collision with deer. Remember, deer are out and about beyond these hours, too. Be aware and cautious whenever you are driving.


You are more likely to hit a deer in rural areas, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t drive cautiously in urban and suburban areas.

Just because you are driving through town doesn’t mean a deer crossing is impossible. Depending on where you are, deer can find their way into busy roadways away from their typical habitat; another reason to drive cautiously wherever you are. Even if you aren’t driving in a rural area, you should always be watching for deer or other animals and road obstructions.


Statistics Are Rising:

As the deer population continues to grow, deer-related collisions are inevitable. Between 2017 and 2019, deer-related claims increased 21.8%.  Additionally, as vehicles become more advanced and more deer are present, the average claim payment will continue to increase over time. The average amount paid in animal collision-related damages has increased 12.5% since 2016. While this information isn’t surprising, it is good to keep in the back of your mind.


So, how do you avoid a possible deer-related car accident?

  • Use your high beams when possible
  • Watch for glowing eyes
  • Always drive defensively and with caution
  • Stay awake and alert
  • Watch for deer crossing zones
  • Deer move in herds--if you see one, expect more to follow

Using these driving tips can help you avoid a deer-related car accident. If you do hit a deer, have an action plan. Stay calm, move to the side of the road and call 911 immediately if you or a passenger are injured.

Call your insurance agent as soon as possible to report possible damages. Understanding your policy and knowing what is covered will be helpful in the case of a deer- related collision.

While the winter weather brings hazardous driving conditions in New York State, it also brings the movement of pesky deer into our roadways. Although they aren’t always avoidable, the above tips may help to avoid a deer- related accident.