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Six tips for driving during deer season

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Mark DannehlOctober through December is the most accident-prone time of year for deer-vehicle collisions. During the fall, vehicle-deer crashes are most likely to occur during the hours between 5pm and midnight and then again from 5am to 7am. In 2011, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation reported a total of 18,176 deer-vehicle crashes.

Take proper precautions
Deer are the third most commonly struck object in Wisconsin (after auto-auto collisions and fixed-object collisions). Keep caution in mind when driving this fall, and remember these important driving tips:

  • If you see a deer, slow down and blow your horn; or flash your headlights to scare the deer away.
  • If you see a deer in front of you, brake firmly, don't swerve, stay in your lane. It is better to hit the deer than to swerve and lose control of your vehicle.
  • If you hit a deer, do not leave your vehicle. The injured deer could hurt you. Try to get your car off the road and call the police. 
  • Be attentive in the early morning and evening hours.
  • Pay close attention to deer crossing signs.
  • Wear your seatbelt, stay sober, and use your high beams where possible.

If I hit a deer with my car, will my insurance cover it?
Only if you carry comprehensive coverage on your vehicle. Collision coverage under an auto insurance policy doesn’t cover you if you hit a deer. Comprehensive coverage provides financial protection beyond that of collision coverage, including hail, theft, falling objects, and deer hits. It's a good idea to check your insurance policy to see if you have comprehensive auto coverage. If you have a policy through Member Benefits, call us at 1-800-279-4010 and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Mark Dannehl, Personal Insurance Consultant