AAA Colorado Offer Tips to Avoid Costly Animal Collisions

DENVER, October 20 – Collisions with animals can be both dangerous and costly. According to the Insurance Information Institute, animal collisions result in about 200 human fatalities per year. Last year, AAA Insurance policyholders in Colorado involved in an animal-related collision had an average automobile insurance claim of $4,662.

Animal Collision Fast Facts

  • October, November and December are the worst months for animal collisions.
  • October and November are especially dangerous during deer mating season.
  • As the days get shorter, drivers are more likely to be on the road at dawn and dusk, which are times of high animal activity.
  • Animals may be more difficult to see as it gets darker earlier.

“Although deer and other animals are unpredictable, and you never know when one might dash in front of your vehicle, there are actions you can take to help prevent an accident or reduce the damage from an animal collision,” said Jim Rookard, Director of Insurance Services for AAA Colorado.

Tips to Avoid an Animal Collision and to Lessen the Impact if One Occurs

  • Keep your eyes moving. Continually sweep your eyes across the road in front of you for signs of animals and movement. Animals may also be alongside the road. While the most likely accident is you hitting an animal, on occasion, they might hit you by running into the side of your car.
  • Be especially attentive in early morning and evening. Many animals, especially deer, are most active during these times, roughly 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., which include prime commuting times for most people.
  • Use high beams when there’s no oncoming traffic. You can spot animals sooner. Sometimes the light reflecting off their eyes will reveal their location.
  • Slow down and watch for other deer to appear. Deer rarely travel alone, so if you see one, there are likely to be one or several more.
  • Slow down around curves. Animals are harder to see in advance when going around curves.
  • One long blast. A long blast on your horn may frighten large animals, like deer, away from your vehicle.
  • Use brakes if an impact is imminent. Don’t swerve. Instead, stay in your lane. Swerving away from animals can confuse them so they don’t know which way to run. It can also put you in the path of oncoming vehicles or cause you to crash into something on the side of the road like a lamp post or a tree.
  • Always wear a seatbelt. The chances of getting injured when hitting an animal are much higher if you don’t have your seatbelt on.
  • Don’t go near or touch a wounded animal. A frightened and wounded animal can be unpredictable and cause injury. If it’s in the middle of the road and blocking traffic, call the police immediately.
  • Consider purchasing comprehensive insurance, if you don’t already have it. Comprehensive insurance is the type of insurance that covers animal strikes.

About AAA Colorado
AAA Colorado has more than 600,000 members and is an advocate for safety and security for all travelers. As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 54 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive related services, as well as member exclusive savings.