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‘Oh, deer!’: AAA Carolinas offers tips to avoid costly deer collisions

According to AAA Carolinas, October through December are considered to be the worst months of the year for vehicle collisions with animals.
Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 6:02 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – AAA Carolinas is giving drivers a heads’ up now that deer mating season is underway.

According to AAA Carolinas, October through December are considered to be the worst months of the year for vehicle collisions with animals.

“This is the time of the year when deer are extremely active and the chances of them darting into the roadway are much higher,” Tiffany Wright, spokesperson for AAA – The Auto Club Group in the Carolinas, said. “We urge drivers to stay alert especially in animal-prone areas because a collision with a deer can be just as destructive as a collision with another vehicle.”

According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, there was an increase of more than 2,300 animal-vehicle crashes in 2019, with the overall figure hitting 20,331 crashes. Of that number, 90 percent are assumed to be deer.

The months of October through December account for 51 percent of those crashes, state DOT officials said. The South Carolina Department of Public Safety reported 3,086 collisions with animals in 2019. There were no comparable stats for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and less motorists on the road.

The average claim for hitting a deer in the Carolinas is $4,300, according to AAA.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, almost 2,000 people were killed in animal-related crashes from 2010 to 2019.

AAA encourages motorists to keep these tips in mind when on the road:

  • Most deer are active between 5 to 8 a.m., and 5 to 8 p.m., so pay extra attention during this time if you’re out on the road.
  • If you see a deer, slow down and watch out for other deer that may follow.
  • While slowing down, honk your horn to scare the animal.
  • Brake firmly and do not swerve.

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