In 2006, the Delaware State Police logged 373 animal-vehicle crashes. As of 2015, Delaware ranked 24th in the country, in Deer-related accidents. The average white-tail deer is 130 pounds, while “Bucks” (males) tip the scales at 180 pounds. The average cost per insurance claim is $2,800 which increases with cases involving injury. Follow these helpful tips during the fall season in the event of a deer-related crash.
Call the police: Alert police that you have hit a deer and need assistance. Let them know where you are and if others are around with details about what happened. If the deer is blocking traffic, let the police know that it is in the road, posing a potential danger to other drivers.
Move your car: If possible, pull over to the side of the road, and turn on your hazard lights. If you must leave your vehicle, stay off the road and out of the way of any oncoming vehicles.
Stay away from the deer: A wounded animal will likely be frightened and capable of hurting you if approached. As much as you may want to help the animal, keep your distance.
Let the police handle the situation: The police are there to help- let them. They’ll take photographs of the situation, ask witnesses what happened and likely write up a report on the incident. Make sure to request a copy of the police report.
Document the incident: If it’s safe to do so, take photographs of the roadway, your surroundings, damage to your vehicle, and any injuries you or your passengers sustained. If witnesses stop, take down their version of what occurred, and ask for their contact information.
Do not swerve: If there is an opportunity to avoid a crash, brake and stay in your lane. Losing control of your vehicle, crossing into another lane, hitting another vehicle or driving off the roadway and hitting another object such as a tree or pole is likely much more dangerous than hitting a deer.
Fall is mating season for deer, and in Delaware this year, it begins early November to mid-November and can sometimes last until mid-December. Kimmel Carter recommends having your headlights on at both dusk and dawn for the remainder of the fall season. If you are involved in an accident involving a deer, follow these tips for the best possible outcome.