Hitting a deer can damage your vehicle and leave you with injuries or worse.
The month of November is an especially dangerous period. It’s the height of deer mating season. Dawn and dusk are the peak times for animal activity, and with the time change, more of us are on the road.
Cortland County Police Officer Curtis Ayers suggests a strategy to help you spot deer.
“Always keep your eyes moving back and forth, continuously sweeping your eyes across the road for signs of animals, and their movement,” said Ayers. “While most likely an accident would be caused by an animal darting out in front of you, it might also be caused by running into the side of your car at night.”
If you suddenly see a deer?
“Use your brakes if an impact is imminent,” said Ayers. “If an animal is in your path, stay in your lane. Swerving away from animals can cause them so they don’t know which way to run. It can also put them in the path of oncoming vehicles or cause you to crash into objects on the side of the road.”
Ayers says insurance researchers give you a good reason to always wear your seatbelt.
“The chances of getting injured when hitting an animal are much higher if you don’t have your seatbelt on. Always wear your seatbelt.”
What you’ve heard about deer not traveling alone is correct, according to deputy Ayers.
“Deer rarely travel alone, so if you see one, most likely there’s another one, or several more, nearby, looking to cross the road.”
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety says the average repair bill is about $3,500.