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More Deer Strikes in November - BY FAR
AAA: Average Claim in CT almost $4500
(HARTFORD, CT) – Drivers across Connecticut have a greater chance of hitting a deer in November than any other month – by far. While the DEEP and AAA previously warned of an increase in deer strikes from October through December, records show that the risk spikes sharply in November, the height of the mating season.
“According to UConn Crash Data, motorists reported hundreds of deer strikes in November of 2017, almost twice as many as in October and significantly more than December as well,” says Amy Parmenter, spokesperson for AAA in Greater Hartford. “Most months there are fewer than 75 reported strikes”.
The greatest risk to motorists is at dusk and dawn when the deer are most active.
A Costly Crash
Crashes involving deer can pose great risk to motorists, but even a crash in which no one is injured can be costly. Of the hundreds of deer strikes reported to AAA Insurance in Connecticut last year, the average claim was for almost $4,500.
And, Phil Lombardo, Manager of AAA Approved Auto Repair ‘CarStar’ in East Hartford, says he’s seen much worse already this season:
“I already had a vehicle in that sustained so much damage from a deer, it was a total loss”, Lombardo said.
According to the DEEP, there were more than 4,000 deer strikes in Connecticut last year, though most go unreported.
Glastonbury had the greatest number of reported strikes.
AAA TIPS to help prevent a crash or to reduce damage from an animal collision:
- Pay attention to road signs. Yellow, diamond-shaped signs with an image of a deer indicate areas with high levels of deer activity.
- Keep your eyes moving back and forth. Continuously sweep your eyes across the road in front of you for signs of animals and movement. Animals may also be alongside the road, so make sure to look to the right and left, as well. While the most likely crash is you hitting an animal, on occasion they might also hit you by running into the side of your car.
- Be especially attentive in early morning and evening hours. Many animals, especially deer, are most active from 5-8 a.m. and 5-8 p.m. – prime commuting times for many people.
- Use high beams when there’s no oncoming traffic. You can spot animals sooner. Sometimes the light reflecting off their eyes will reveal their location.
- Slow down, and watch for other deer to appear. Deer rarely travel alone, so if you see one, there are likely to be more nearby.
- Slow down around curves. It’s harder to spot animals when going around curves.
- One long blast. A long blast on your horn may frighten animals away from your vehicle.
- Resist the urge to swerve: Instead, stay in your lane with both hands firmly on the wheel. Swerving away from animals can confuse them so they don’t know which way to run. It can also put you in the path of oncoming vehicles or cause you to crash into something like a lamppost or a tree.
- If the crash is imminent take your foot off the brake: during hard braking the front end of your vehicle is pulled downward which can cause the animal to travel up over the hood towards your windshield. Letting off the brake can protect drivers from windshield strikes because the animal is more likely to be pushed to one side of the vehicle or over the top of the vehicle.
- Always wear a seatbelt. The chances of getting injured when hitting an animal are much higher if you don’t have your seatbelt on. Also never drive drunk, distracted or drowsy.
- Consider purchasing comprehensive insurance, if you don’t already have it. Comprehensive insurance is the type of insurance that covers animal strikes.
In the event of a collision with an animal, AAA recommends:
- Following the collision, call the police.
- Avoid making contact with the deer/animal. A frightened or wounded animal can hurt you or further injure itself.
- Put the vehicle’s hazard lights on; whether it’s light or dark outside.
- If possible, immediately move the vehicle to a safe location, out of the roadway, and wait for help to arrive. Your safety and the safety of your passengers is most important.
Contact your insurance agent or company representative as quickly as possible to report any damage to your car. Collision with a deer or other animals is covered under the comprehensive portion of your automobile policy.
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AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 58 million members nationwide and more than one million members in Connecticut. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.aaa.com.