It’s Deer Season. Here’s How to Stay Safe on the Road. - Osgar's Autobody

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It’s Deer Season. Here’s How to Stay Safe on the Road.

September 13, 2018

Deer-related collisions reached a peak of 2,600 in Northeast Ohio in 2015, causing four deaths, 801 injuries, and over $85 million in damage to vehicles, averaging $4,000 per car! The good news is that these accident rates have declined over the past couple of years, as hunting and deer management programs have helped remove the number of animals from the road.

However, collisions are still a threat in our deer-heavy region. According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety, there were 713 deer-related crashes in 2017 in Ashland and Richland Counties combined. What’s more, numbers spike during the last three months of the year, when corn and apple harvesting bring the deer closer to the roads as they search for food sources.

Here’s how you can stay safe during this busy deer season:

  • Be aware of peak deer hours, which occur twice daily: 1) shortly before and after sunrise and 2) sunset to midnight.
  • Don’t ignore those deer-crossing signs! No, the deer can’t read… these signs are placed in high-risk areas where roads divide agricultural fields from forests.
  • Deer stick together. If you see a deer near the road, expect others to follow.
  • Use high-beam headlights at night when there is no oncoming traffic.
  • Decrease speed and sound your horn to frighten the deer away.
  • Always brake firmly but stay in your lane when you encounter a deer in your path. Do not swerve! Swerving to avoid hitting an animal is the leading cause of accidents, injuries and deaths, as it causes loss of control of the car.
  • Always wear your seat belt. Most people injured in deer-vehicle crashes were not buckled in.

What to Do If You Hit a Deer

If you hit a deer, first see to the well-being of you and your passengers and call 911 if necessary. Report the crash to local law enforcement or the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, even if there is no damage to your car. If you wish to claim the dead deer, you can do so through those agencies.

If there is damage to your car, call your insurance company, but keep in mind that when it comes to repairs, you have a choice. You don’t have to use a dealer–nor who your insurance company recommends. Go with an auto body specialist who will put you first, understand your car, and bring it to better-than-new condition even after colliding with the biggest buck on the road. Osgar’s Autobody is here when you need us!

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