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AAA Speaks Out: Deer Strikes Cost Big Bucks

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This information has been provided by AAA Allied Group, which is headquartered in West Hartford, CT.

By Amy Parmenter, AAA Public and Government Affairs

November is the month when Connecticut motorists are most likely to strike a deer and, AAA warns, there is a high price to pay, both literally and figuratively.

In the last five years, at least two people have been killed in crashes involving deer and more than 275 injured, according to UConn Crash Data. And, even those who are able to walk away from a deer collision physically unharmed may still pay a steep price.

AAA Insurance statistics indicate that last year, across Connecticut, the average claim for a deer strike was more than $4,000.

With that in mind, AAA is warning drivers to limit distractions and look out for the animals, especially during the morning and evening commuting hours when deer are most active at this time of year, pursuing a mate.

“Safety is priority one, so first and foremost we are encouraging motorists to adjust their driving behaviors to prevent a collision,” says Greg Lauria, Regional AAA Insurance spokesperson. “But also important in minimizing risk is making sure your vehicle is appropriately covered”.

Collision with a deer or other animals is covered under the comprehensive portion of your automobile policy.

In the event of a collision with an animal, AAA recommends:

  • If possible, immediately move the vehicle to a safe location, out of the roadway. Safety is priority one.
  • Once you are in a safe location and no longer driving, call the police.
  • Put the vehicle’s hazard lights on, whether it is light or dark outside.
  • Avoid making contact with the deer/animal.
  • Contact your insurance agent or company representative as quickly as possible to report any damages.
  • Take photos of the damage if you can do so safely and without entering the roadway.

AAA has some tips to help prevent a crash or to reduce damage from an animal collision:

  • Pay attention to the bright yellow “deer crossing” signs. They are there for a reason.
  • Keep your eyes moving back and forth, scanning the road and side of the road for any movement.
  • Limit distractions – always.
  • Be especially at dusk and dawn, the typical commuting hours, when deer are most active.
  • Use high beams when there’s no oncoming traffic.
  • Slow down, and, if you see one deer, watch for others to appear – deer rarely move alone.
  • Always wear a seatbelt.

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