CHARLOTTE, N.C. (News Release) — With deer mating season underway, AAA Carolinas is urging motorists to be cautious and extra vigilant on the roads to help avoid collisions, as October through December is considered to be the worst months of the year for vehicle collisions with animals.
“This is the time of the year when deer are extremely active and the chances of them darting into the roadway are much higher,” said Tiffany Wright, spokesperson, AAA – The Auto Club Group in the Carolinas. “We urge drivers to stay alert especially in animal-prone areas because a collision with a deer can be just as destructive as a collision with another vehicle.”
According to NCDOT, there was an increase of more than 2,300 animal-vehicle crashes in 2019, with the overall figure reaching 20,331 crashes – of which 90% are assumed to be deer. The months of October through December account for 51% of those crashes. In the most recent data provided by SCDPS, South Carolina reported 3,086 collisions with animals in 2019. (No pertinent stats for 2020 due to pandemic and less motorists on the roads)
According to the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety), from 2010-2019, almost 2,000 people were killed in animal-related crashes.
“Colliding with a deer is not only dangerous, it’s also increasingly expensive even in a minor crash,” added Wright. “New technology, like cameras and windshield sensors drive up the cost of repairs, which makes it more imperative to double-check your insurance coverage.”
The average claim for hitting a deer in the Carolinas is $4,300. To avoid out-of-pocket expense, AAA recommends purchasing an auto policy including comprehensive coverage, which covers collisions with deer or other animals.
AAA encourages motorists to keep these tips in mind when on the road:
- Most deer are active between 5:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. so pay extra attention during this time if you’re out on the road.
- If you see a deer, slow down and watch out for other deer that may follow.
- While slowing down, honk your horn to scare the animal.
- Brake firmly and do not swerve.
In the event of a collision, AAA says:
- If possible, immediately move the vehicle to a safe locations, out of the roadway. Your safety and the safety of your passengers is most important.
- Once you are in a safe location and no longer driving, call the police.
- Turn the vehicle’s hazard lights on.
- Avoid making contact with the deer/animal. A frightened or wounded animal can hurt you or further injure itself.
- Contact your insurance company as quickly as possible to report any damage to your vehicle.
- Take photos of the damage if you can do so safely and without entering the roadway.
- To report an injured deer in North Carolina, call the NCDNR’s Wildlife Enforcement Division at (800) 662-7137. To report an injured deer in South Carolina, call the SCDNR office at (803) 734-3886 to locate a rehabilitator near you.
- When in North Carolina, deer-related crashes should be reported to the NC Department of Transportation. When in South Carolina, deer-related crashes should be reported to the SC Department of Transportation.
About AAA – The Auto Club Group
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America with more than 14 million members across 14 U.S. states, the province of Quebec and two U.S. territories. ACG and its affiliates provide members with roadside assistance, insurance products, banking and financial services, travel offerings and more. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 60 million members in the United States and Canada. AAA’s mission is to protect and advance freedom of mobility and improve traffic safety. For more information, get the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn