It’s fall, a beautiful time of the year in Colorado with the leaves changing, but it also happens to be deer season. It’s hunting season and mating season, which is the time of the year when deer are most active. While the odds of hitting a deer on the road were on the decline in Colorado back in 2014, it is still important to be on the lookout for deer.
According to an article from last fall in the Denver Post, Colorado drivers have a 1 in 328 chance of hitting a deer within a 12 month period, compared with 1 in 169 for the nation. However, even with this decline, we should all be very cautious driving on highways and rural roads. Especially given that the national cost per insurance claim related to a deer collision averaged $3,888 in 2014, according to the Denver Post.
Here are 6 tips when driving during deer season:
- Be aware. This includes heeding deer crossing signs and being extra cautious in those areas. In general, you should always be aware of your surroundings while driving.
- Look out for a group. Deer don’t roam alone, so if you see one deer there are probably more nearby.
- Check the time. Deer are must active during dawn and dusk; thus, be extra attentive during these times. About 20% of deer collisions occur in the early morning, while more than half occur between 5:00 P.M. and midnight.
- Keep your car in good shape. Maintaining your car will allow for you to better respond in a situation involving a deer on the road.
- Have an accident action plan. Be sure to have a plan in place for whenever you may get in a car accident, regardless of the reason. Remember, there are many important things to do following an accident.
- Wear seat belt. Always wear a seatbelt; it saves lives.
So, if you are driving up in the mountains or on any rural highways this fall, please be vigilant out on the roads. Also, please remember that most serious injuries due to deer on the road are not caused by hitting the deer, but occur when drivers try to avoid the deer. Swerving to miss a deer could cause you to hit another car or guardrail. As always, please follow the speed limit, be safe and stay aware of your surroundings.