Navigating the road, especially during early mornings or sunsets when deer are most active, increases the likelihood of encountering wildlife. Urbanization forces these creatures out of their natural habitat, coexisting in areas populated by people. In rural settings, it's common to spot deer near roads and highways. If, unfortunately, you hit a deer while driving, it's crucial to prioritize safety. Cascade Autocenter in Wenatchee WA, provides the following checklist to help you manage the situation safely.
Pull Over Safely
If your vehicle is still drivable after colliding with a deer, pull over to a safe spot promptly. Ensure you're out of harm's way, especially if other vehicles are present. Activate hazard lights to increase visibility, signaling to other drivers that an incident has occurred. If you sustain injuries and require medical assistance, call 911 immediately.
Check the Deer
If you're unharmed and able to exit your vehicle safely, assess the condition of the deer from a distance. Determine if it's deceased or injured. Do not approach the animal or attempt to move it yourself. Deer are powerful animals that may react unpredictably if approached. If the deer can't move from the road, use flares to warn oncoming traffic of the hazard.
Contact the Police
While you may not be obligated to contact authorities after hitting a deer, involving the police can be beneficial for securing the area. They can record details of the incident in a police report, useful for insurance claims. If the deer is injured and requires assistance, the police may contact animal control. You can also reach out to them if the animal appears distressed before the police arrive.
Reduce Collision Risk
Given that deer are more active during twilight and dusk, exercise heightened awareness when driving during these times. Secure your seatbelt, drive defensively, and reduce speed. Watch for glowing eyes in the dark, a potential sign of deer nearby. In the event of a deer in your path, honking your horn and maintaining consistent driving speed are recommended. Avoid sudden swerves or slamming on brakes to minimize the risk of further accidents.
Don't Assume your Vehicle is Safe to Drive
Double-check that your car is drivable after hitting a deer. Look for leaking fluid, loose parts, tire damage, broken lights, a hood that won't latch and other safety hazards. If your vehicle seems unsafe in any way, call for a tow and take it to Cascade Autocenter's collision shop.
Cascade Autocenter hopes you never have to go through the steps outlined above, and your travels remain safe. In the unfortunate event that you need to replace a vehicle due to a collision with a deer or any other reason, explore the extensive selection of new and used vehicles at www.cascadeautocenter.com. We're here to get you back on the road swiftly. Until then, drive carefully out there. Safe travels!