Hitting a deer can be a traumatic experience for any driver. Not only is it emotionally distressing, but it can also cause significant damage to your vehicle and result in injuries to yourself and any passengers. Knowing what to do after hitting a deer is essential for minimizing the damage and keeping everyone safe. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about what to do after hitting a deer.
1. Pull Over Safely
The first thing you should do after hitting a deer is to pull over to a safe spot, out of the way of traffic. Turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers and ensure your safety.
2. Assess the Damage
Once you’ve pulled over, assess the damage to your vehicle. Check for any broken headlights or taillights, dents or scratches, or any other damage that may have occurred.
3. Call the Police
If your vehicle is damaged or the deer is blocking traffic, you should call the police. They can help you move the deer off the road and file a report for insurance purposes.
4. Check for Injuries
Check yourself and any passengers for injuries. Even if you feel fine, it’s essential to get checked out by a medical professional to ensure that there are no underlying injuries that may not be immediately apparent.
5. Contact Your Insurance Company
After you’ve assessed the damage and ensured everyone’s safety, contact your insurance company. They will guide you through the process of filing a claim and arranging for repairs.
6. Document the Scene
Take photos of the scene, including the damage to your vehicle and any injuries sustained. This documentation can be useful when filing a claim with your insurance company.
7. Stay Calm
Hitting a deer can be a stressful experience, but it’s essential to stay calm and composed. Keep a level head and focus on the steps you need to take to ensure everyone’s safety and minimize the damage.
8. Avoid Approaching the Deer
If the deer is still alive, it’s crucial to avoid approaching it. A wounded deer can be unpredictable and dangerous. Instead, stay in your vehicle and wait for help to arrive.
9. Dispose of the Deer Properly
If the deer is deceased, it’s important to dispose of it properly. Contact your local wildlife agency or animal control to arrange for removal.
10. Consider Deer Deterrents
After hitting a deer, it’s natural to be concerned about the possibility of it happening again. Consider installing deer deterrents on your vehicle, such as deer whistles or reflectors, to reduce the risk of another collision.
11. Seek Emotional Support
Hitting a deer can be a traumatic experience that may leave you feeling shaken or upset. If you’re struggling to cope, seek emotional support from a trusted friend or family member, or a mental health professional.
12. Practice Defensive Driving
Prevention is always better than a cure. Practice defensive driving techniques, such as reducing your speed and remaining alert at all times, to reduce the risk of hitting a deer or any other animal.
13. Follow Local Laws and Regulations
Be sure to follow all local laws and regulations regarding deer collisions. In some areas, it may be illegal to move a deer from the road or dispose of it in certain ways.
14. Be Prepared for the Unexpected
Hitting a deer is never expected, but it’s essential to be prepared for the unexpected. Keep a first aid kit, emergency supplies, and a charged cell phone in your vehicle at all times.
15. Drive Safely
The most important thing you can do after hitting a deer is to drive safely. Slow down and remain alert, especially in areas where deer are known to frequent. Be prepared to take evasive action if necessary.
In conclusion, hitting a deer can be a traumatic and stressful experience, but knowing what to do can help you minimize the damage and keep everyone safe. Remember to pull over safely, assess the damage, call the police if necessary, check for injuries, contact your insurance company, document the scene, stay calm, dispose of the deer properly, consider deer deterrents, seek emotional support if needed, practice defensive driving, follow local laws and regulations, be prepared for the unexpected, and drive safely.
- Is it safe to approach a wounded deer after a collision? No, it’s not safe to approach a wounded deer after a collision. A wounded deer can be unpredictable and dangerous, so it’s best to stay in your vehicle and wait for help to arrive.
- Will hitting a deer raise my insurance rates? It depends on your insurance policy and the specific circumstances of the collision. Contact your insurance company to determine the impact on your rates.
- What should I do if I hit a deer and it runs away? If you hit a deer and it runs away, it’s still important to pull over and assess the damage to your vehicle. You should also contact the police to file a report for insurance purposes.
- How can I reduce the risk of hitting a deer? You can reduce the risk of hitting a deer by practicing defensive driving techniques, such as reducing your speed, remaining alert at all times, and being prepared to take evasive action if necessary. Installing deer deterrents on your vehicle can also help.
- What should I do if I hit a deer on a highway? If you hit a deer on a highway, it’s important to pull over to a safe spot and turn on your hazard lights. Contact the police and your insurance company, and document the scene. Do not approach the deer if it’s still alive, and dispose of it properly if it’s deceased.