Living in the beautiful Colorado mountains, a collision with deer is a real possibility. One minute you’re driving through the scenic remote wilderness. The next minute, a deer runs out in front of your path with no warning — and no time to stop.
In fact, studies show that drivers in Colorado have a 1 in 186 chance of having a collision with deer or other animals! If you work a normal Monday through Friday schedule, this means that you’ll hit at least two animals each year, statistically speaking.
That same report also showed that wildlife is responsible for about 1.9 million insurance claims each year. And while Colorado doesn’t rank in the top 10 states for a collision with deer, it’s still important to stay vigilant on the road.
No one wants to have a collision with deer or other wildlife. Let’s look at some practical ways you can avoid it altogether:
1. Be Aware of the Places Deer Frequent
The state of Colorado has posted many deer warning or deer crossing signs in areas where deer are known to frequent. Responsible drivers should take notice of these signs, as it could mean that deer may be in the vicinity.
When you see these signs, do not take them with a grain of salt. Rather, you should drive through these areas as though a deer can run out in front of you anytime. Because truthfully, they can.
2. Use Your High Beams at Night
Using your high beams at night can help you to spot deer from a greater distance than using your normal headlights. While it’s never a good idea to drive around with your high beams on at all times, they can help you in dark areas where there is no oncoming traffic.
The high beams position your light at a higher height. These lights are better able to reflect off the eyes of deer that may be on the side of the road. This way, you see them sooner and can prepare yourself to react in case they decide to cross in front of you.
3. Know When Deer are Most Active
A collision with deer can happen at any time of the day or night. However, deer tend to be most active in the early morning hours and late evening hours. This is likely because there is less traffic on the road at these times. They are also considered nocturnal or crepuscular, which means they tend to graze and play at dawn and dusk.
If you are driving during these times, you should be extra vigilant. Knowing the active patterns for deer may help you to react faster.
4. Don’t Swerve
When a deer crosses the road in front of you or stands in the middle of the roadway, a knee-jerk reaction is to swerve and avoid collision. However, doing so poses an incredible risk to you and other drivers.
For starters, there’s no way to know if the deer will move in the direction you think. In many cases, you will still end up hitting the deer. It can also catch other drivers off guard and cause them to swerve.
Instead, a better idea is to use your brakes but maintain your course. Slow down, and stop if possible. The deer may move out of your way on its own so that you can continue ahead safely.
5. Flick Your Lights and Blow Your Horn
If a deer is standing in the middle of the road and doesn’t seem like they’re budging, your lights and horn may come in handy.
First, flash your lights on and off to get their attention. Small sounds in activities like this can be enough to send deer running back into the woods.
If that doesn’t work, press on your horn to emit a long, steady sound. It may be enough to get the deer to move to one side or the other so you can pass.
However, some experts note that blowing your horn could cause a deer to become aggressive. The horn should be used as a last resort.
What to Do When Involved in a Collision with Deer
Having a collision with deer or other wildlife can be a heart-stopping experience. You may not have had enough time to react or thought you were in the clear. What’s more, you might feel upset at the damage the deer caused to your car.
The first thing you should do is take a deep breath and clear your head. A collision with deer is much like a collision with another car. There’s probably damage, and your actions will impact the drivers around you.
Try to move your car to the side of the road, if possible. This allows for traffic to continue passing safely while you sort things out.
If there is damage to your vehicle, you will want to call the police as soon as possible. A collision with deer is not considered a serious matter unless there are also injuries. Therefore, it might take some time for the police to arrive. While you’re waiting on the police, take photos of the damage and the surrounding areas. Your insurance company may need these photos as evidence when processing your claim.
The police will fill out a report and provide you with a form to file a claim with your insurance company.
How Bright Auto Glass Can Help
In many collisions with deer, your windshield will likely need to be replaced. If your windshield sustained damage, you can bring it to our professional techs at Bright Auto Glass for inspection.
We will give you our professional opinion on whether your windshield needs to be replaced or whether it can be repaired. We will also work directly with your insurance company to file the claim and collect payment. This gives you one less thing to worry about.
Have you been involved in a collision with deer? Contact our team today for a free quote on windshield repair or replacement. We look forward to helping you