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Hitting a Deer - How to Prevent It and What to Do If You Can't

Hitting a Deer – How to Prevent It and What to Do If You Can’t

Did you know that there are almost 2 million acres of woods in New Jersey? Many of those acres are home to the state’s wildlife, including deer. October through December is mating and migration season for the animals. During these months, deer crossings on rural roads and major highways are more prevalent and unfortunately, so are motor vehicle accidents involving deer. Hitting a deer can be frightening, cause extensive damage to your vehicle and result in potentially serious personal injury.

While it may not always be possible to avoid hitting a deer, there are ways to reduce the risk.

Tips to Avoid Hitting a Deer

  • Be extra vigilant when driving in deer territory, especially at dusk and dawn when deer are most active. Keep in mind that rural areas are not the only places where deer are found. Along the Garden State Parkway, there are what many New Jersey residents call “parkway deer.” They can be seen grazing on the side of the road, seemingly unfazed by the traffic. However, if something out of the ordinary startles them, they can easily bolt into coming traffic.
  • If you see one deer crossing the road, don’t think that it’s safe to keep going. Deer travel in packs and typically cross the road in a single file. More often than not, catching sight of one deer means there are more to follow. Slow down, allowing the deer to cross safely without causing an accident. 
  • “Deer Crossing” signs are often posted in areas where the animals are prevalent. Don’t disregard this sign. Slow down and use your high beams when possible to help you spot deer on or near the road. 
  • In the event that a deer crosses the road in front of you, brake firmly if you can do so safely. Swerving can confuse the deer, causing them to turn around and run toward your vehicle instead of away from it. Swerving can also cause you to lose control of your vehicle and end up in oncoming traffic.
  • If you see a deer carcass on the road, proceed with caution. Other members of the pack may be close by.

What if Hitting a Deer is Unavoidable?

  • Remain calm and pull over to the side of the road. Get your vehicle as far off the road as safely possible.
  • Check for injuries. If you or any of your passengers are injured, call 911 immediately.
  • If you and your passengers aren’t injured, check the damage to your vehicle. If it is safe to do so, you may want to take pictures of the damage for insurance purposes.
  • If the damage is significant or the deer is blocking traffic, call a tow truck or the police.
  • Do not approach the deer. Appearances can be deceiving. Although the animal may look dead, if you try to move it and it is still alive, you could be seriously wounded.
How to avoid hitting a deer

Need a Tow After Hitting a Deer?

Deer-related accidents are unfortunately commonplace, especially from October to December when mating is the animals’ top priority. If a deer has left your vehicle disabled, you will need to contact a towing service to get emergency roadside assistance. No matter the size or condition of your vehicle, Accurate Towing Service has the experience and the equipment to handle it.

We have decades of experience and offer 24/7 roadside assistance. We can tow your vehicle to a nearby repair shop or body shop. We understand how devastating deer-related accidents can be and can help get you back on the road as soon as possible. Give us a call!