Whether you’re driving on I-10 west toward San Antonio or up I-35 to Austin, you’ll find yourself in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. These rolling hills boast their beauty all year long with magical views of spectacular sunsets. What might be the only drawback of driving through the area you might ask? Being in a deer collision.
According to an annual report done by State Farm, the likelihood of hitting a deer in Texas is 1 in 157. Texas was ranked the 37th riskiest state where drivers are most likely to collide with a deer or animal. November is a notorious month for deer-related collisions, as it’s the beginning of the general season for deer hunting.
Even the most cautious of drivers can find themselves face-to-face with an animal on the road. Sometimes, a deer collision is unavoidable, so we’ve come up with a few steps you should take after hitting a deer.
1. Make sure no one in the vehicle is injured
Hitting a deer can cause death or severe injury to you and passengers in your car. It’s important to get help for any injured persons before anything else.
2. Move your vehicle to a safe place
Pull to the side of the road, out of traffic’s way, and turn on your hazard lights. This will let you fully assess the damage without being in harm’s way. The lights will also allow other drivers to be aware of you (and possibly the deer) on the road.
3. Call the police
If a deer is blocking traffic, it could be a threat to other drivers. Call your local law enforcement agency and notify them of the situation. If you can move the dead deer out of traffic, do so, but do not tag or remove the deer from the area.
Take photographs of the road, your surroundings, and damage. This can be helpful for filing an insurance claim.
5. Don’t touch the animal if you can avoid it
A frightened and wounded deer could hurt you or itself. Do not touch the animal if you don’t need to immediately move it off the road for safety.
6. Contact your insurance company
File an insurance claim if you have car damage you wish to be repaired. Keep in mind that your insurance premium may go up if you make a claim. However, you’ll want to do so for serious damage, since the repair will probably cost quite a bit.
7. Don’t immediately drive away
Look for loose parts, broken lights and other hazards as deer can cause serious damage to your vehicle. Drive away slowly and keep an eye out for unusual noises or movement of your car.
Texas had nearly 110,000 reported animal collisions from June and July of this year. Be more aware during the hours before sunrise and just after sunset because that’s when drivers are most likely to be in a deer collision. One estimator in the Dripping Springs area says the average cost to repair a vehicle with deer collision damage can range anywhere from $3,000-$5,000.
If you’ve been in a deer collision accident, upload your photos of the damage to our Smartphone Estimating Tool to get a quick and easy estimate.