Is hitting a deer comprehensive or collision coverage? How can roadside assistance help?
Though there's certainly a collision involved, hitting a deer falls under "comprehensive" coverage. If you swerve and hit another car, it's covered by collision coverage. And while it's not necessarily included in either, roadside assistance can help significantly if you do happen to hit a deer.
Here are some tips on how to prepare for deer season and stay safe.
How to Avoid Deer Collision
Deer can come out of nowhere at any time. And there's often more than just one. If you see a deer crossing the road, be prepared for there to be others. Here are some general tips for avoiding deer collisions.
Use your headlights. Your headlights are the best security you have against deer at night. If you have to drive at night, make sure your headlights are focused so you can see far enough in front of you.
Be observant of all road signs. Road signs will usually indicate that you're coming up on a deer crossing before you get into the danger zone. Though deer can cross anywhere, they are much more likely in these areas.
Brake, don't swerve. Swerving can cause more damage to your car and more danger to yourself and your passengers. You should brake — and before a long journey, test your brakes.
Be ready to honk. Honking alerts everyone else to what you're doing and reduces the chances that someone else could collide with you. It can also spook the deer, possibly causing it to to run off the road.
Recruit passengers as lookouts. Having more eyes is always better. Have passengers looking into the forest line for any movement.
But even if you do everything right, nature is unpredictable. You aren't always going to be able to avoid a deer. In the event that you do hit a deer, you need to know exactly what to do. Knowing what to do in advance will reduce your chances of panicking.
What to Do If You Hit a Deer
What's your coverage when hitting a deer? It's better to know before it happens. If you have hit a deer, here's what you should do:
Pull to the side of the road. You want to clear the road as soon as possible so you don't cause a second crash.
Turn on your hazard lights. Your hazards are especially important for alerting people at night.
Call emergency services (if needed, file a police report). They will send someone to help and clear the road.
Take photos. If possible, take a video circling your car, so you can see all the damage around the car.
Stay away from the deer. An injured deer can be unpredictable. Deer are also known for getting up and running after a collision, even if you think they're badly injured.
File a claim. Your insurance company will guide you through the claim process.
If you hit a deer and file a claim, you'll have to pay a deductible and your insurer covers the rest — as long as you have comprehensive coverage. If your car gets totaled in an accident, your comprehensive coverage can pay out the cash value of the car, minus the deductible.
How Roadside Assistance Can Help
OK, you've hit a deer. You've done everything that you can, but that still means your car is wrecked and you're stuck by the side of the road. What do you do now? Hopefully, you have roadside assistance.
Roadside assistance helps you 24/7 with the towing of your car. So you can get back to your trip as soon as you can — and get a car on the road as quickly as possible.
Deer collisions can happen at any time, but they happen especially during mating season. Make sure you have the proper coverage, including comprehensive coverage and roadside assistance. This will keep you safe and protected, both physically and financially.