November Ranks Highest in Deer Collisions; First Chicago Insurance Company Offers Motorist Safety Tips Which can Reduce the Risk of a Deer-Vehicle Accident

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November is the month when deer-vehicle encounters are most likely. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 18% of all deer-related automotive accidents happen in November. First Chicago Insurance Company offers motorists tips to avoid this costly form of auto collision.

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A deer-vehicle collision can cause serious and often fatal injuries to motorists, as well as to the deer. In addition, hitting a deer can cause major damage to a vehicle which in turn leads to costly auto repairs.

November is the month when deer-vehicle encounters are most likely. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 18% of all deer-related automotive accidents happen in November. First Chicago Insurance Company offers motorists tips to avoid this costly form of auto collision. It is estimated that for the third year in a row, deer-related automotive accidents will increase in 2012.

“The number of deer-related claims paid by First Chicago Insurance Company, and other auto insurance carriers who insure motorist in deer population states, has increased nearly eight percent. This comes at a time when other similar auto claims have decreased, “shared John Gettemans, President, First Chicago Insurance Company. “A deer-vehicle collision can cause serious and often fatal injuries to motorists, as well as to the deer. In addition, hitting a deer can cause major damage to a vehicle which in turn leads to costly auto repairs.”
Gettemans noted that the spike in deer-car incident rate is related to a combination of factors:

  •     Mating Season. Deer mating season occurs between October through early December. During this time male deer actively search for mates often bringing them across roadways.

    Time Change. During the fall, time reverts back to Daylight Savings Time, and days become shorter and nights longer. Rush hour commuter traffic increases during the same time deer activity increases (dawn and dusk).

  •     Increased human population and rural development. As human population continues to expand into rural areas, deer lose natural food sources and as a result must move into new areas in search of food and water.

First Chicago Insurance Company offers motorists several tips that can decrease the likelihood of a deer-vehicle collision:

1.    Execute increased caution when traveling during peak deer activity. At dawn and dusk deer are often seen roadside. Reduce speed; be more alert by avoiding cell phone usage, or texting while driving and other activities which cause distractions.

2.    Utilize high-beam headlight when safe to do so and traveling through deer crossing zones or forest preserve areas. Do not rely on car-mounted deer whistles.

3.    Reduce speed and be alert when traveling in deer-crossing areas. Slow down and blow your horn with one long blast to frighten the deer away.

4.    Brake firmly when you notice a deer in or near your path. Do not swerve. It can also cause you to lose control and hit a tree or another car. In addition, the swerving motion can confuse the deer which can increase the risk for an accident.

5.    Always wear your seatbelt. Most people injured in car-deer crashes are not wearing a seatbelt.

6.    Deer generally travel in groups, so if one crosses, be prepared that other deer will follow.

7.    Deer are wild animals that can be unpredictable. A deer standing by the roadside may bolt into or across the road if they are startled by a vehicle, or even bicyclist.

About FCIC:
Established in 1920, FCIC is licensed in the states of Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. The company’s product lines include preferred and standard personal auto insurance, commercial auto insurance and artisan general liability insurance which are marketed through a network of independent insurance producers. http://www.firstchicagoinsurance.com.

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