We are approaching deer mating season, which means deer are on the move more, upping the chance of a crash.
The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office said 836 crashes involved deer in 2020, two of those were deadly crashes, 21 caused serious injuries. While a deer could catch drivers off guard at any time of day or night, AAA said the most active times are between 5:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. and from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Drivers will want to pay extra close attention when all the road to make sure there aren't any deer ready to dart out in front of them. AAA said to keep in mind if you see one deer, there are likely more nearby.
AAA said if a deer is in your path, use your brakes instead of swerving. It said swerving confuses the deer so they don't know what way to run, but it could also put you in the path of oncoming traffic or other dangers. The company also suggests honking your horn to try and scare deer away. The Insurance Information Institute said drivers shouldn’t rely on deer whistles and reflectors because it said those have not been proven to reduce collisions with animals.
AAA said the average claim for hitting a deer in Oklahoma last year was $5,532, more than $750 higher than in the previous year.
AAA said new technology, like cameras and sensors in windshields, are driving up the cost of repairs. It recommends drivers double-check to make sure they have the right insurance coverage.