If you’ve ever come close to hitting a deer, then you probably still remember that stressful event to this day. The racing heart, the adrenaline, the feeling of not being sure you can avoid an accident. It’s a scary situation.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 1.5 million deer-related vehicle accidents in 2016. This cost drivers and insurance companies more than $1 billion in collision and dent repairs.
To help try and keep you safe, we’ve listed some tips to avoid hitting a deer with a car. Follow these tips and stay alert to help keep safe.
Tips on avoiding a car accident with a deer
- Be alert during the dawn and dusk hour when deer are most active.
- Most deer/car collisions occur during fall and early summer.
- If you see one deer, watch for others. They often travel in packs.
- Deer can take off suddenly. Don’t assume a standing deer won’t take off running.
- Slow down! Even a few mph slower could give you more time to react.
- Be alert when driving through an area where deer may be.
- When you see a sign for a deer crossing warning, take it seriously.
- Slow down around curves in areas where deer are known to occur.
- Be aware that deer often use woodlots, fencerows, field edges or areas near water.
- Scan the roadsides for the “eyeshine” of deer ( the reflection of headlights in the deers eyes).
- Honk your horn and flash your lights if you see a deer in the road.
- If deer are near the road, tap the brakes or use the emergency flashers to alert other drivers.
- Stay calm. Use your breaks but don’t swerve wildly. Deer can cause accidents without you hitting them.
- Don’t tailgate. Many severe deer accidents are caused when another vehicle becomes involved.
Related: Winter driving tips
When do most deer accidents occur?
- Dawn: 5am to 8am
- Dusk: 5pm to 10pm
- Late fall: October, November, and December
- Early summer: May and June
You need to keep alert when you are in an area where deer may be (in a rural area, near a forest, field or farm), especially
What to do if you hit a deer
- Pull over and move your car to a safe area if possible.
- Keep your car and yourself out of the roadway and a potential accident with another car.
- Call the police. Let them know if the deer is blocking traffic and creating a threat to other drivers.
- If the collision results in injury or property damage, you may need to fill out a police accident report.
- Document the accident for your insurance. If possible, take photos of the road surroundings, damage to the vehicle, and any injuries.
- Stay away from the deer. An injured and frightened deer could hurt you with their strong legs and hooves.
- Inspect your vehicle before assuming it is still drivable.
- Don’t assume your vehicle is safe to drive. Check for leaking fluids, loose parts, tire damage, broken lights, a hood that won’t latch and any other safety hazards. If your car might be unsafe in any way, call for a tow truck.
- Contact your insurance agent.
Average cost of a deer-vehicle collision
The average cost of repairs for a car hitting a deer is between $3,500 and $5,000. According to State Farm Insurance, the national average insurance claim is $4,100.
Do you have to pay a deductible if you hit a deer?
That depends on your insurance policy. Rumors that you don’t have to pay a deductible because hitting a deer is “an act of God” are not true. Damage to your vehicle from hitting a deer is covered under the comprehensive coverage portion of your insurance, sometimes referred to as “other than collision”. Some companies offer a zero deductible option on comprehensive, but you will pay a higher price for that option. If you have only insured your vehicle for the minimum amount of coverage required to meet state law, then it is likely you will have to pay a deductible.
Need your car repaired after an accident?
Probst Collision is the top auto body repair shop in New Lenox, IL. Serving the local area including Joliet, Mokena, Frankfort, Manhattan, Chicago and the southwest Chicago suburbs.
Call (815) 485-8411
Choosing the right set (or sets) of tires can help create a safer, more comfortable ride in a variety of weather and driving conditions.
Which tires best match my driving conditions?
It is important to analyze your driving conditions and then pick the tires that best suit them. Do you drive your vehicle in dry weather? Or in rain and snow? Do you drive your truck only on highways, or do you also go off-roading? These tips and other similar information about specific driving conditions can help you choose the right tires for your needs.
Want to ensure you get the most value for your car when it comes time to sell? Don’t do these things…
By PAUL CHOI for Driving
Some of us buy a car with the intention of keeping it until it’s run into the ground. But, inevitably, real life gets in the way and we’re forced to sell, whether it be trading in for a bigger vehicle for an expanding family or just upgrading for status’s sake. It’s in times like these that your car’s condition suddenly comes to the fore, and you may not be prepared for the harsh realities.
What you end up getting for your vehicle depends largely on what you did with your car and how well you’ve kept it. If you’ve done any of the following, it might be best to start addressing them before putting your car up for sale.
No maintenance records
Keeping all documents related to work done on your car is always the best policy.
One of the surest ways to get the maximum value for your car is by providing documented proof it was well taken care of. Dealer invoices, work summaries, and receipts of all oil changes and regularly scheduled tune-ups and inspections are a no-brainer for getting full asking value at selling time. Otherwise, a prospective buyer is basically buying on faith that you didn’t cheap out on oil changes.
A good buyer will probably insist on an overall inspection of the car anyway before laying any money down, but handing over all the necessary documents will go a long way to easing his or her mind. While we’re at it, disclosing your car’s accident history up-front, and detailing the repairs, will prevent some nasty surprises in the bargaining process. Honesty is always the best policy here. Related: Collision Repair
Contrary to popular belief, not everybody likes tinted windows.
A general rule of thumb for retaining resale value is to keep your car as close to stock as possible. Yes, it’s boring, but it ultimately means maximizing the pool of potential buyers when it comes time to sell. One of the ways you begin to shrink that pool is by tinting your windows.
Sure, the reasons for doing so may be innocuous: tinted windows look sexy and mysterious; it keeps the interior cool on hot summer days; it protects your privacy. But, surprise, not everybody shares the same appreciation for tinted windows. And potential buyers are also probably aware overly darkened windows can be a magnet for the local constabulary.
In Ontario, for instance, the Highway Traffic Act states “the surface of the windshield or any side window to the left or right of the driver cannot be coated with any colour spray or other color coating in such a manner as to obstruct the driver’s view of the roadway, or obscure the view from outside to the interior of the motor vehicle.” It doesn’t say to what degree of tinting is allowed, so, really, it’s up to an officer’s judgment whether a tint-job is in violation of the law (in other words, if he can’t see you, you’re most likely going to get fined – up to a maximum of $500). Naturally, that kind of risk will turn off most potential buyers, who’d rather not go through the hassle of de-tinting the windows after purchasing a new car.
Lowered car, lowered price
While certain improvements can boost resale value (think roof racks or an aftermarket navigation/multimedia screen), altering your car’s suspension is probably taking things a bit too far.
Lowering (or “slamming”) a car may seem like a good idea (if you’re fresh out of high school, that is). It looks cool, fast and sporty. And it can be relatively cheap to do (i.e. replacing your OEM springs with shorter springs). But keep in mind that we live in Canada. Will that lowered profile be conducive to driving in even a few inches of snow? And just who will be looking to buy your car? Most likely exclusively young males, which, again, shrinks the pool of potential buyers drastically. Once again, follow the rule of thumb: always keep it factory.
Don’t expect that giant aftermarket spoiler to do much for your car’s resale value … or downforce.
Whether it be an exhaust system louder than World War II, or gold-plated 22-inch rims, or a spoiler that wouldn’t look out of place on a 747, all of these car mods have one thing in common: they are all overly showy. And, unless you’re the type who likes to participate in underground drag races, nobody wants a car that showy.
Ostentatious accessorizing is just plain obnoxious and can have the opposite effect on your car’s resale value by dramatically cheapening its look. Also, not many people are willing to inherit someone else’s work-in-progress, which is basically what these cars are. Who wants to deal with the headache of fixing a hastily installed souped-up exhaust kit, or figuring out just what’s wrong with the aftermarket turbocharger?
So, do yourself a favor and forgo that tempting nitrous oxide upgrade. I promise, your car will sell faster without it.
Improper light upgrade
Upgrading your old headlamps to newer HID lights? Doing it wrong may mean blinding fellow drivers and getting yourself in trouble with the law.
Like moths to a flame, car owners are lured to flashy, new high-intensity discharge lamps (HID). But, as has been pointed out before, these brighter headlamps could get you into hot trouble, as well as be a drag on your car’s resale value. Aftermarket lights may seem like an easy route to upping your car’s bling factor, but the fact remains that if your car didn’t come with HID lights, it most likely wasn’t designed to properly handle the increased light and heat generated by these lamps.
Most aftermarket HID conversion kits are installed on the common reflector style headlamps that use mirror-like surfaces at the back to project light. HID lights installed in this housing usually lead to a bright, washed-out light and a terrible glare that can blind other drivers, as well as attract the attention of police. Potential buyers will usually know something’s not right when they test the headlights and find they’ve turned on what look like floodlights instead.
Dings and scratches
Unsightly scratches and dings can lower a car’s resale value in a hurry.
This one probably seems like a no-brainer, but fixing even minor cosmetic issues will go a long way to getting what you want for your used car. Got a scratched-up fender that you’ve been meaning to fix for a while? A couple of hundred dollars at an auto body shop will take care of it, and should make it look as good as new.
What about minor chips and scratches? Touch-up paint shouldn’t cost you more than $15 at your dealership. Doing these things will mean your car shows better in photos and in person, and you’ll make back what you spent and more when the deal’s finally closed. Related: Auto Repainting Services
When you live in Illinois, winter time means dealing with cold and snow.
The best way to deal with wintry conditions is to stay at home unless you absolutely need to leave.
Everyone though has to drive on snow covered roads sometimes though. It just can’t be avoided. You might drive to work in the morning and leave in the afternoon to find three inches of snow on the streets. Or you may have to pick up your kids and bring them home.