News Room

Deer-vehicle collisions can be dangerous and costly in South Carolina

Columbia, SC, November 17, 2015 – The last three months of each year bring about deer migration and mating season. Unfortunately, this increases the chances of being in a deer-vehicle collision.

Using claims data and state licensed driver counts from the Federal Highway Administration, State Farm, the nation’s leading auto insurer, estimates that South Carolina’s drivers are 9th most likely to be involved in a deer collision.

“The facts are clear, South Carolina has a lot of deer and a lot of drivers” said State Farm Spokesman Justin Tomczak. “All too often these two are coming into contact with each other.”

As these types of auto accidents are on the rise, the South Carolina Insurance News Service warns drivers to be especially cautious while on the road this fall and winter.

“Drivers should be especially cautious just before and after sunrise and from sunset to midnight when deer tend to be moving more,” says Russ Dubisky, executive director of the South Carolina Insurance News Service. “Drivers should also wear their seatbelts and check their insurance to make sure they will be covered if an accident does occur.”

Auto accidents involving deer or another animal are covered under the comprehensive portion of an automobile policy, and will not be covered if you have a liability only policy. The Insurance Information Institute estimates the average cost per insurance claim relating to deer collisions is about $3,000, with costs varying depending on the type of vehicle and severity of damage; claims involving medical payments can add thousands of dollars.

The South Carolina Insurance News Service suggests you take these precautions while driving:

• Drive with caution in posted areas and in areas known to have a large deer population - especially in the early morning and evening hours.

• Heed deer crossing signs, lower your speed, always buckle up and stay awake, alert and sober.

• If you see one deer, look for others, as they often move in groups.

• Use high-beam lights when possible to reflect the eyes of the deer, and blow your horn to frighten the deer away.

• If a collision seems unavoidable, brake firmly and stay in your lane. If you swerve to avoid the deer, you could lose control of your car or end up in the path of another vehicle.

• Call the police immediately to report the incident, and contact your insurance agent or company as quickly as possible to report any damage to your car.

For more information from the S.C. Insurance News Service, or to schedule an interview, call (803)252-3455.

For over 35 years, the South Carolina Insurance News Service has been providing free insurance information to consumers and the media about property and casualty insurance issues.

For more information, contact the South Carolina Insurance News Service at 803-252-3455 or use our contact form.