Drivers encouraged to be cautious during deer mating season - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

Drivers encouraged to be cautious during deer mating season

(Pixabay: vieleineinerhuelle) (Pixabay: vieleineinerhuelle)

Fall is here and AAA is warning drivers to be more cautious on the roads.

Deer mating season is right around the corner and October, November, and December are the worst months of the year for motor vehicle collisions with animals. A collision with a deer or other animal can put a serious dent in a vehicle, if not destroy it completely, and could result in serious injuries or fatalities.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in 2015, there were 186 fatalities from collisions with animals across the country.

The Ohio Department of Public Safety reports that in 2016, there were:

  • 18,439 deer crashes
  • 5 fatalities
  • 833 injuries
  • more than 17,000 vehicles damaged

Almost half of the injuries and property damage occurred during October through December.

Drivers swerving in an attempt to miss the deer is another very common cause for crashes. This can be a fatal mistake because the driver may hit an oncoming motorist head-on.

In the event of a collision with an animal, AAA recommends:

  • Following the collision, call the police.
  • Avoid making contact with the deer/animal. A frightened or wounded animal can hurt you or further injure itself.
  • Put the vehicle’s hazard lights on; whether it’s light or dark outside.
  • If possible, move the vehicle to a safe location, out of the roadway, and wait for help to arrive. Your safety and the safety of your passengers is most important.
  • Contact your insurance agent or company representative as quickly as possible to report any damage to your car. Collision with a deer or other animals is covered under the comprehensive portion of your automobile policy.

AAA has some tips to help prevent an accident or to reduce damage from an animal collision:

  • Be especially attentive in early morning and evening hours. Many animals, especially deer, are most active from 5-8 a.m. and 5-8 p.m. – prime commuting times for many people.
  • Use high beams when there’s no oncoming traffic. You can spot animals sooner. Sometimes the light reflecting off their eyes will reveal their location.
  • Slow down, and watch for other deer to appear. Deer rarely travel alone, so if you see one, there are likely to be more nearby.
  • Slow down around curves. It’s harder to spot animals down the road when going around curves.
  • One long blast. A long blast on your horn may frighten animals away from your vehicle.
  • Use brakes if an impact is imminent. Don’t swerve. Instead, stay in your lane. Swerving away from animals can confuse them so they don’t know which way to run. It can also put you in the path of oncoming vehicles or cause you to crash into something like a lamppost or a tree.
  • Always wear a seat belt. The chances of getting injured when hitting an animal are much higher if you don’t have your seatbelt on. Also never drive drunk, distracted or drowsy.
  • Consider purchasing comprehensive insurance, if you don’t already have it. Comprehensive insurance is the type of insurance that covers animal strikes.

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