What to Do After Hitting a Deer
Wildlife Collisions Are Common in Montana
If you have lived in Montana for long, you have likely hit a deer or other animal that has done damage to your vehicle. If you are one of the lucky ones that have not, then you know someone who has. Wildlife collisions are common, just drive down any highway and scope out the roadkill.
For those who haven’t hit a deer, it’s probably going to happen. Just remember, don’t swerve. Wildlife collisions become deadly when you try to swerve and avoid the collision but you end up rolling the vehicle. After hitting a deer, keep these tips in mind so that you can quickly and safely get past the incident.
Pull Off to the Side
After any collision, move your vehicle safely to the side of the road. This is important not because you’re so shaken you aren’t able to drive, but because there may be damage you can’t see. Deer are big animals, and they can cause significant damage to your car, truck, or SUV. When you’re out of traffic, closely inspect the vehicle. Are fluids leaking? Are tires or steering damaged?
If you have any concerns about the driveability of the vehicle at all, have it towed to Big Sky Collision Center. It’s better to be safe than risk another accident.
Leave the Deer Alone
Some collisions are big, others are not. If the animal is injured it is panicked. A panicked animal is a dangerous one; even a deer. Their hooves are sharp and their legs are powerful. If it’s suffering, call the police and inform them a fish and game officer is needed; same if the animal is in the middle of the road and you don’t want to move it.
Remember, it’s never legal to put a deer out of its misery. Although it is the compassionate thing to do, it needs to be done by an officer.
Get a Roadkill Tag
Suppose it’s a minor collision, and the deer is dead on impact. If you want to re-fill your freezer, Montana lets you do so. Deer, elk, antelope, or moose are permitted to be taken with the road kill salvage permit. You can check out the full details on what needs to be done by visiting this page of the FWP.
Call Big Sky Collision Center
Naturally you are going to want to have your vehicle fixed. Big Sky Collision Center is the best auto body repair shop in Montana, so give us a call and make an appointment to bring your vehicle in. After we take a look, we can handle the insurance claims processing. Remember, it is your right to choose which collision repair center you use. Even though your insurance may make a recommendation, you get the final choice.
Animal Collisions are Considered Acts of God
Before you have to make a claim, make sure that you have the proper insurance coverage. We recently wrote about the different kinds of insurance coverage; hitting an animal is covered by your comprehensive insurance. Before you drive our Montana highways, make sure that you are covered in case a deer jumps out in front of you.