RICHMOND — November is the peak month for collisions
between vehicles and deer. With this in mind, the State Corporation Commission’s
(SCC) Bureau of Insurance reminds Virginia motorists to exercise caution, especially
when driving at dawn or dusk and in areas where deer are prevalent.
“I encourage all Virginia drivers to be on the alert for wildlife on the highways,”
said Virginia Insurance Commissioner Jacqueline K. Cunningham. “Now is a good time
to contact your insurance agent or company to determine if your policy provides
coverage for this type of loss.”
Damages caused to your vehicle as a result of a collision with a deer or other animal
typically are covered under the “other-than-collision” (also known as comprehensive)
portion of your automobile policy. Keep in mind that if you have a liability-only
policy, your policy does not cover your vehicle for any damages it receives in an
accident with a deer or other object.
One-half or more of all vehicle-deer collisions occur during the months of October,
November, and December, according to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland
Fisheries. Increased development of traditionally rural and wooded areas, the transition
from daylight savings time to standard time and reduced daylight hours, and increased
deer activity during their October through December breeding season are among the
factors that contribute to the increase in vehicle-deer collisions during the fall.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are roughly
one million car accidents with deer each year that kill more than 200 Americans,
cause more than 10,000 personal injuries, and result in $1 billion in vehicle damage.
To reduce your chances of hitting a deer, slow down and use caution when you see
one. If it is too late to avoid a collision with a deer, stay in your lane and slow
down as much as possible to minimize damage. Should you collide with a deer, notify
law enforcement and your insurance company as soon as possible.
The Bureau of Insurance stands ready to assist Virginians with their questions regarding
auto and many other types of insurance. For more information, call the Bureau toll-free
at 1-877-310-6560 or in Richmond at (804) 371-9741 or visit its website at
Consumers who are hearing or speech impaired may call the SCC's Telecommunications
Device for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (TDD) at (804) 371-9206.