The odds of having an encounter with Bambi (or Rudolph) while behind the wheel in Maryland are 1 in 134, according to a recent report by The Daily Record, which ranks Maryland as 22 in the country. These numbers are expected to rise during the months of October, November, December and January due to deer mating and hunting season. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report, approximately, 175-200 deaths a year due to auto-deer collisions, with an additional 10,000 injured.
The following tips may help protect you if you encounter a deer in the roadway:
Know How to React. Experts from the Department of National Resources (DNR) state that it is safer to hit a deer, not swerve, as reported by CBS News. Although it may be against a driver’s natural reaction, it is recommended to slow down as best you can, and let your vehicle hit the deer, versus swerving. As the leading cause of deaths, injuries, and collisions from deer-related accidents occur when a driver swerves in an attempt to avoid hitting the deer and, instead, strike another car, a tree, a pole, and/or flip over.
Understand How Deer Travel. Deer almost always travel in packs, and hardly ever alone. If you see one deer in and/or near the roadway, there is likely (at least) another nearby. Also, deer peek hours of traveling are at dusk, between 6pm and 9pm, so be extra cautious during this time of day. Lastly, deer are not only found in rural areas.
Deer Can Be Unpredictable. If you see a deer stopped on the side of the roadway, do not assume that it will stay on the side of the roadway and will give you the right of way. Any animal, when frightened, can act erratic.
Add Comprehensive Collision Coverage to your Auto Insurance Policy. The average cost for property damage from a deer related collision is approximately $4,000. Vehicle damage caused by a deer is not typically covered under standard collision coverage (which usually only covers collisions with other cars and/or objects). However, comprehensive collision coverage typically covers damage caused by animals, vandalism, theft, weather, etc.).
To read more from the sources the above information was obtained from, visit the Insurance Information Institute and Montgomery County Department of Parks and Deer Management.
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