There are more than one million deer-related accidents a year across the country. Deer are plentiful in the Central to Eastern parts of Texas, and many roads should be driven with caution. Swerving is likely to worsen your odds of an accident. Instead, here are some tips to avoid hitting a deer.
Any time you are driving, it is important to keep your eyes on the road and pay close attention when driving in wooded areas. Here, deer may suddenly come out and run toward cars.
Deer typically roam more often during dusk or dawn, so pay attention if you are driving during these hours. If you are not familiar with the area where you are driving, look for caution signs that alert drivers to deer in the area.
Remember, deer often travel in packs, so if you see one deer there may be more nearby.
Make a bright path
If the roads are not well lit and you do not have oncoming traffic, use high beams to create a brighter path. This will give you a better opportunity to see a deer before you come upon it.
If you see a deer, slow down and brake firmly, but don’t swerve. Swerving can cause you to hit another car or lose control.
Also, deer may move if they see or hear you. Honk your horn to try to scare a deer out of your way. Swerving may still make you run into the deer if they start to move out of the way.
If you are about to hit a deer, turn slightly right before you collide to hit the deer at an angle. This way the deer won’t flip up onto your windshield.
Don’t approach an injured deer
If you do get into an accident and the deer is on or near the road, do not approach it. Call law enforcement and the local game warden. An injured deer could potentially injure you, and it’s best to have trained professionals care for an injured deer. If the deer is dead, it is OK to move it off the road, but it is against the law in Texas to take the deer with you.
If you have an accident and need auto body repair, Fogle’s Online Estimating Tool offers fast and free estimates directly from your Smartphone.
A road trip is intended to be fun, not to be spent at a repair shop. However, accidents happen when you least expect them and it’s a good idea to have a plan if they do. Here are a few considerations to help you figure out this tough situation.
Know your insurance coverage
Insurance coverage depends on where your trip takes you. Before you leave on your trip, check your insurance policy to see where you are covered and review the details of your coverage plan.
You are likely covered if your trip is in the U.S. or Canada. If your trip is to Mexico, Central America, South America, or any other location, contact your insurance agent regarding coverage.
As you travel, remember that laws are different from state to state and different in other countries. Check the driving and insurance laws for the location you are going (and all points in between). The minimum requirements for insurance coverage vary in different areas.
No matter where you are located, reporting the accident to your insurance company is the same.
If you get in an accident
Firstly, you’ll need to assess the damage. If your vehicle is still driveable, you must decide if you want it repaired at home or where you are at that moment. Your insurance agent can help you work out the details.
Consider whether you have a long drive back, and if driving such a distance in your vehicle’s state would be dangerous. Even if your vehicle appears to only have exterior body damage, it would be wise to get an auto body tech to take a look at it. Most body shops will give free estimates on damage.
Scheduling a tow
If you need a tow, most insurance policies will cover the cost within a certain radius from the accident. The insurance company can also schedule the tow no matter where you are located and can reserve a rental car for you, if needed. If you choose to have your vehicle towed home and you are far away, discuss the coverage with your insurance agent. It’s likely you will have to cover the cost for a long-distance tow.
If you need repair on your Texas road trip, Fogle Collision Centers has shops across Central Texas to meet your auto body needs.
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