Drive Our Montana Roads without Hitting a Deer
Deer Collisions Cost Billions; Here’s how to Avoid Them
Every year there are a lot of drivers who hit deer with their vehicles. According to the Insurance Information Institute, more than 1.6 million of these collisions occur every year, and they rack up more than $3.5 billion in vehicle damages. That’s a lot of money spent on vehicles that have run into wildlife!
Here in Montana, we have a lot of deer. The statistics don’t break it down based on state, but it’s likely that Montana holds a significant portion of those annual collisions. Even if you have insurance that will cover the damages, you’re still out your deductible, subject to higher premiums, and you have the inconvenience of being without your car for a while during the repair process.
Without further ado, here are the 6 steps you can take to ensure that your vehicle doesn’t end up at the best collision repair shop in Billings.
There’s Strength in Numbers
This goes for both people and deer. If you’re traveling on a well-traveled road, you are less likely to encounter a deer. But if you do see a deer on your travels, be aware that they generally travel in herds. Be on the lookout of other deer trying to catch up with their friends and family by darting across the road at the most inopportune moments.
Wildlife have been equipped with some incredible anatomy to help them survive. Those reflective eyes that you see off to the side of the road reflect because they’re picking up a lot more light than our eyes can. It helps them see better in low-light situations, and it helps us see them before they jump in front of the vehicle.
Watch the Clock
Deer are the most active at dusk and dawn. When the light levels are low, it’s a safer time to avoid predators. As the deer are out foraging, they’re not paying attention to the traffic, so you need to pay more attention as the sun is setting or rising. Keep in mind that November is rutting season. The bucks are pushing the does around, and they can tend to jump into the road during this season as well.
Avoid the Shoulders
The safest place to travel, when it comes to avoiding deer, is toward the center of the road. This gives a wide berth in case there are deer moseying into the roadway, and gives you time to react when you see them. Of course, if there’s traffic, you need to maintain your lane.
Stay the Course
Your natural instinct is going to swerve out of the way of danger. But experts have analyzed this, and found that more fatal accidents occur when you swerve (you tend to run into something else, or roll the vehicle). Your best bet is to hit the brakes firmly, and hope the deer jumps before the collision.
You know those deer whistles that you can attach to the bumper that are supposed to alert wildlife and get them out of the way before you get to them? They don’t really work. Some experts have found that a good steady horn blast is enough to move deer off the road though.
As with any time that you’re in the car, click that belt. Hitting a deer could push you off the road into a larger and firmer object. Minimize the chance of damaging yourself, and use the seatbelt that has been proven to save lives!
Bring Your Deer Collider to the Best Auto Body Repair Shop
Sometimes you hit a deer (or other wildlife). It’s an unfortunate accident, but at least vehicles can be repaired. If you do happen to have a wildlife collision, bring your vehicle in to Big Sky Collision Center in Billings. We have more factory certifications than any other shop around. If you’re going to have your vehicle repaired, why not bring it to the best?
Give us a call at 406-259-6328 if you need more details, or if you need to make an ap