The prevalence of deer in the states of Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts can pose a serious hazard for those on the road. In fact, in the year 2015 alone, there were more than 1,000 deer auto strikes throughout the state of Rhode Island, as reported by the RI Department of Environmental Management. If you see a deer while driving – or if you hit one – it is important to know what to do next.
What to Do When You See a Deer While Driving
Although deer are out and about throughout all hours of the day, the most common time to see a deer while driving is during the early morning, twilight, or nighttime hours. If you see a deer, slow your vehicle. Refrain from swerving or coming to an abrupt stop, as this could be dangerous if there are other vehicles near you. If you must come to a complete stop to allow a deer to make it safely across the road, be sure to turn your flashers on. Geico reminds drivers to never touch an animal that is on the roadway – if you see a deer, stay within your vehicle until it is out of the way or slowly pass it if possible.
If I Hit a Deer with My Car, What Do I Do?
Seeing a deer usually isn’t too unnerving –many times, it can even be an awesome experience. Hitting a deer, on the other hand, can be scary and life threatening. If hitting a deer is inevitable – i.e., the deer is immediately in your pathway and you cannot stop – let off the brakes at the moment that you make contact with the deer. Doing this reduces the chances that the deer will travel through your windshield, which can be devastating.
If you have hit a deer, stop your vehicle and turn on your emergency flashers. If you or anyone within your vehicle is injured, call emergency personnel immediately to report injuries. If no one is injured, you still need to make sure that the accident is reported to local police. The next thing that you want to do is be sure to report the accident to your insurance.
Will My Insurance Pay for Damages?
If you have purchased comprehensive coverage, which pays for damage to your vehicle caused by unforeseeable circumstances, like weather and animals, then your insurance policy should cover damages without an increase in your premiums. However, this is not always what happens; in order to maximize profits and minimize payouts, an insurance adjuster may claim that there is no evidence of a deer strike, and therefore comprehensive coverage does not apply. If you find yourself in a situation like this one, or if you suffered injuries during the crash and are wondering how you will be compensated, our attorneys can help.
Contact Our Law Offices Today
At the law offices of Marasco & Nesselbush, LLP, our experienced Rhode Island car accident attorneys understand the threat deer pose to drivers. If you have been injured after a crash involving a deer, we will advocate for you. Contact us today to request your free case review.