The deer population in parts of Upper Michigan may be on the decline, if the police log in Ontonagon County is any indication:
— 8-16-12 at 6:50 a.m. Patrick Carey of White Pine was traveling west on M64 1 Mi west of Bolo Road when a deer ran out from the north side of the highway. The driver was unable to avoid hitting the deer, and the accident caused substantial damage to his vehicle.
— 8-17-12 at 11:02 a.m. Courtney Karttunen of Ontonagon was traveling east on Firesteel Road 1000 feet east of Airport Road when a deer ran into her path of travel. She was unable to avoid the deer, and the accident caused moderate damage to the vehicle.
— 8-18-12 at 8:45 a.m. Henry Pole III of Ishpeming was traveling north of Gardner Road a half mile north of 5 Mile Road when a deer ran out from the east side of the roadway. He was unable to avoid the collision, the accident caused moderate damage to his vehicle.
— 8-18-12 at 9:00 a.m. David Radovich of Ontonagon was traveling east on Firesteel Road a half mile east of Airport Road when two deer ran out from the north side of the roadway. The driver stated he was able to miss the first deer but was unable to avoid the second. The accident caused minor damage to the vehicle.
So, while traveling along the highways and byways of Upper Michigan, motorists are likely to encounter deer. In the daytime, at night and – especially dawn and at dusk. For some tips on what to do when you can’t avoid hitting a deer, follow these guidelines:
Swerve to avoid hitting a deer? Never do this. Police, insurance agents and collision repairmen all say more damage and injury is at stake if you swerve to attempt avoiding impact with a deer. Once you swerve, you are at a much greater risk of hitting oncoming traffic, a tree, light post, mailbox, or ditch. The damage from hitting a deer is often minimal in comparison to hitting one of these other objects.
Swerving to miss a deer is a natural reaction. It takes focus to consider all the repercussions of swerving. A deer can cause major damage to your vehicle and cause injury, but the potential is much greater if you plow into a tree. Take your foot off the gas and keep a straight course to reduce damage and higher insurance rates.
What does insurance cover? Deer accidents are covered under the comprehensive coverage of your insurance policy. If you are unsure of your coverage, refer to your declarations page to verify. A quick phone call to your agent or customer service representative can also clarify what coverage you have listed on your vehicle.
Sometimes after a deer accident, a tow may be required. If you have comprehensive coverage, the tow may automatically be covered as part of the claim. If you do not have comprehensive coverage, but have roadside assistance, your tow will be covered. No comprehensive coverage plus no roadside assistance, means you will be on your own for both the damage of your vehicle and the tow.
Do I need a police report? Police reports are a good idea in most cases, bu usually are not required for a comprehensive claim.