WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--While they may look cute, fuzzy and harmless, deer account for nearly 1.6 million collisions annually. GEICO wants motorists to stay especially alert now through early January as deer become more active during mating season.
Know Their Habits
Deer encounters occur most often at dawn and dusk. The animals reside in suburban and even urban locations, in addition to wooded areas along rural roadways, but they don't stay there. Many deer collisions happen on busy highways. Drivers also need to remember that deer travel in packs, and seeing one animal could mean others are nearby.
Take Preventive Action
To help avoid a collision, GEICO advises drivers to stick to the speed limit, and even slow down in areas with high deer populations. At night, use high beams when appropriate to watch for the shine of deer eyes. When traveling on a multi-lane road, drive in the center lane to give deer grazing along the shoulders extra space. Most importantly, always wear a seatbelt, as this will minimize the chance of injury should a collision occur.
How to React
Motorists who see a deer in the middle of the road should not swerve to avoid it. This maneuver could scare and confuse the animal, causing it to dart in front of the vehicle. Even worse, the driver could lose control and roll over or veer into oncoming traffic. Braking firmly, giving the deer a chance to move out of the way is a safer course of action. Drivers who see a deer farther down the road should first slow down, then flash their high beams and sound their horn to make the animal move.
In the event of a deer collision, drivers should notify police and call 911 if any vehicle occupants sustain injuries. Do not touch or get close to the animal, as it may be seriously injured and could behave frantically, causing a safety risk.
Call 1-800-861-8380 or visit www.geico.com/claims/ as soon as possible to report a claim. The collision portion of a GEICO auto policy will cover towing and repair expenses incurred from hitting a deer.