Don’t Let that Buck Cost You Lots of Dough
North America’s Collision Repair Experts Weigh in on the Hefty Costs of Hitting a Deer
It’s the annual battle of the bumpers versus the bucks, the does against the doors. Both parties lose when car and deer collide, but a measure of defensive driving can reduce the risks.
CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts says the frequency and severity of deer-related accidents are growing as quickly as the deer population in some markets. And, with the cold-weather months providing peak season for deer-vehicle crashes, this risk is on the rise.
“In fact, more than 40 percent of CARSTAR store owners report a 25 percent increase in deer-related accidents, while some nearly 12 percent report a 50 percent increase and five percent have seen a whopping 75 percent increase in their areas,” said Dean Fisher, Vice President of Operations for CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts. “That deer-related accident can be costly — nearly 70 percent of CARSTAR store owners estimate that the average cost of a deer-related collision repair is between $2,500 and $4,999, while some five percent of repairs are between $5,000 and $10,000.”
A recent survey by State Farm confirms the trend. U.S. drivers are three percent more likely to hit a deer in the next 12 months versus last year, particularly in October, November and December. The cost is on the rise, too, and is expected to be nearly 14 percent higher than last year.
A new trend is emerging, and one that doesn’t bode well for driver or deer – the serial deer crash driver. Once a driver has been in a deer-related accident, their chances of having another one are going up. Many of these drivers live in deer-filled areas, drive in the early morning or early evening when deer are out, or just happen to be unlucky with bucks.
Greg Walter, a suburban Atlanta resident, is just one example. He’s had 17 deer-related accidents over the last decade!
“I’m not sure why they target my vehicle, but they sure do,” said Walter. “I’ve totaled several company cars, and it’s gotten so bad that some of my colleagues put deer heads on my car door like a WWII fighter pilot. I’ve tried different headlights, deer whistles, everything. I think I just need to have a retainer at my local CARSTAR shop.”
Drive Defensively to Avoid Deer Dangers
This year, some 1.5 million drivers will hit deer, and November is the peak month for deer-related accidents. But drivers can avoid an accident with a buck by following some smart driving tips this fall and winter.
Early morning and dusk are the worst times for deer accidents, as visibility is limited and deer are frequently on the move. It is important to drive defensively and anticipate the potential for deer in the road.
The auto experts at CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts, who repair thousands of vehicles each year from deer-related accidents, offer the following tips to reduce the deer danger:
- Use extra caution at dawn and dusk and around golf courses, fields and wooded areas.
- Remember that deer travel in packs – if you spot one, there are likely more behind it.
- Don’t swerve to avoid striking a deer, as that increases the risk of hitting another vehicle or losing control of the car.
- If there is no opposing traffic, use high beams at night to better illuminate deer.
- Don’t rely on devices such as deer whistles, which are attached to the outside of a car, to try to scare off deer with an ultrasonic or high-frequency sound. They have not been proven to reduce deer-vehicle collisions.
- If a deer remains on the highway after you strike it, report the incident to the game commission or a local law enforcement agency, as the deer poses a danger to other motorists. If the deer is still alive, don’t go near it because a wild animal with sharp hooves can inflict injuries.
- If an accident with a deer does occur, it pays to be protected. Many drivers don’t realize that carrying only collision coverage does not cover damage from a deer accident, leaving them with a damaged vehicle and a large repair bill. To fully cover any potential damage, drivers should carry comprehensive insurance that covers such crashes. For those driving an older vehicle who feel their cars aren’t worth the cost of the insurance, it’s smart to keep an “accident fund” if something does occur.
If a driver ends up stranded with a damaged vehicle after a deer collision, they can always call 1-800-CARSTAR. CARSTAR will send the tow truck, call their insurance company and help the car owner get back on the road.
CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts offers high-quality, reliable repair service at more than 430 locations in 30 states and 10 Canadian provinces. Just call 1-800-CARSTAR when you need a vehicle repair, and they will send the tow truck, contact your insurance company, arrange for a rental car and repair your car. For more information and store locations, visit www.CARSTAR.com.