While hunting season ramps up in Pennsylvania more people will be encountering deer in the roads. Fall is the peak time of year when deer-related accidents are at their worst, especially in this state. Pennsylvania is in the top three states with the most deer-related motor vehicle accidents in the country. Local drivers have a one in 67 chance of being in a deer-related accident. The other top states include West Virginia and Montana.
It is important for drivers to stay alert while on the roads, especially at dawn and dusk. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation said that over 3,600 accidents were caused by deer last year. Not only are deer accidents common in this state, they can be very dangerous. Collisions with deer can cause major vehicle and bodily damage. In 2015 there were 639 injuries and six fatalities from crashes with deer.
A deer-in-the-headlights will be costly
Deer-related accidents can also hurt financially. The average cost of a deer involved accident is a little less than $4,000. Make sure to keep your eyes on the road during this time of year. If you do come across a deer that has stopped in the middle of the road make sure not to swerve. Hit the breaks instead. Drivers should not swerve to avoid an animal in the road for two reasons:
- You might hit oncoming traffic
- If you swerve and hit another car or tree then your insurance company can blame you
The good news is that in this state a deer-related crash is considered a not-at-fault accident. If a deer jumps in the road and you are involved in an accident then your insurance company is not allowed to add a surcharge to your auto premium. Unfortunately this rule does not apply if you swerve to miss the deer and hit something else. In the case where you and another car collide to avoid a deer an auto insurance company can still charge you.
In both cases it is clear that auto insurance companies will try to lower your claim whenever possible. They expect negotiations and with the power of attorney you can negotiate a fair claim for the accident damages.