Rut season (October thru December), you are more likely to see deer out near the roads. During rut, deer are focused on mating rather than paying attention to cars on the road. This time of year, drivers need to be more vigilant to deer running out into their path – no one wants to hit a deer!
Deer collisions happen, no matter how cautious you may be. So what do you do if a deer hit happens to you? Below are steps to take if you have been involved in an auto accident with a deer, or other large wildlife animal.
What to do if you hit a deer:
- Slow down, pull as far onto the shoulder as possible and turn on your emergency flashers. If you have a cell phone contact the police. Here are some helpful numbers Kansas highway, dial *47 (*HP) for a highway patrol dispatcher, *582 (*KTA) for assistance on the Kansas Turnpike, or dial 911. If you are in Oklahoma dial *55.
- Do not worry about the animal. Local law enforcement will worry about removing the animal from the road. If the animal is in the road, tell the dispatcher when you call for help.
- If possible, remain in your vehicle and buckled up, so if a crash occurs involving your car or another vehicle nearby, you are more protected than if you are in the roadway or on the shoulder.
- If you must be outside of your vehicle, make sure it is as far off the road as possible and your hazard lights are activated. Don’t stand between your vehicle and another vehicle and make sure your children are kept properly restrained in your vehicle.
- If you have exited your vehicle, stay alert for traffic. If your vehicle is disabled at night, wait for law enforcement with extra lights so your vehicle is more visible to other motorists.
- Take your vehicle to Collision Works in Oklahoma or Auto Masters: A Collision Works Company and have it repaired to be automatically entered in the “Hit a Deer, Win Some Gear” contest.
The likelihood of colliding with a large animal more than doubles during the months of October, November and December, during deer mating season. Whether you hit a large animal or it jumps into the side of your vehicle, such collisions can cause significant injuries and property damage. Therefore, It is important to fill out an accident report with the police as soon as possible for the benefit of your insurance company. The police will also be able to arrange for the animal to be moved by the appropriate authorities. It is illegal to remove a deer carcass without an appropriate permit (or carcass tag); you may be able to obtain one from the police officer.
Hitting any animal in a car is distressing enough, but in the case of an animal like a large as a deer, such an accident could cause serious injury and death. Be prepared so that you can limit the damage as much as possible. Read about how to limit your chances of hitting a deer here.