While Reindeer accidents are not common… and we certainly hope Granny has not wandered out in the snow under the influence of egg nog… a crazy Christmas song got us thinking about a common problem here in Georgia – accidents involving deer.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that there are around 1.5 million vehicle & deer accidents in the U.S. each year. As Body Shop experts, we can tell you that the repairs are not cheap. In fact, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says the average repair cost in deer-related accidents is $2,800.

How do you avoid a collision with deer?

  1. Be aware of your surroundings, especially the sides of the road.
  2. Be more alert when deer are more active – dawn and dusk.
  3. Pay attention in October and November, when most accidents are recorded.

What do you do if you see a deer in front of you? The most dangerous course of action can often be the instinctual one—swerving, which can cause a collision with other vehicles or injury to you and your passengers. The best option is to brake firmly to reduce impact. If you do hit the animal, do not get out of the vehicle to check on it. Move your vehicle from the motorway if possible and call 911 to report the incident. The police will contact the proper state agency for animal removal and help you file a report to give to your insurance company.

Comprehensive protection usually includes wildlife related accidents. To verify this, you can search your Car Insurance paperwork for “Acts of Nature.” You may need to assess costs to decide whether or not to file a claim. Even though hitting a deer is not considered the driver’s fault, insurance rates can still go up. And keep in mind that if you use insurance – it is still your choice of which body shop to use!

We at Walker Smith hope you all have safe, happy and deer-free Holidays!