PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — This month is very hazardous for drivers along roads in Western Pennsylvania.
November is the most dangerous time of the year for deer-related car crashes because of the whitetail deer mating season.
“It’s the rut. It’s the breeding season, you’ve heard of buck fever?” said Tim Dietz, who deals with the vehicle aftermath at Troubleshooters auto body shop. “They’re chasing females, and they don’t pay any attention to what’s going on.”
AAA’s James Garrity said it is the most dangerous time of the year because of the rut and changing of the clocks.
“When you’re driving between the hours of 5 and 8 — a.m. and p.m. — you’re driving in some of the most traveled times for them,” Garrity said.
When there’s a collision, it can get very expensive, very quickly. At Critchlow Car Care Center, Jeff Critchlow has an Infinity that took on a deer head-on.
He estimates the repairs will cost around $5,000.
“He flipped up over the hood, and then went down the side,” Critchlow said.
Critchlow also said there is a Jeep that needs repairs of up to $8,000, and a Ford with deer hair still stuck in a broken headlight.
“The damage has exceeded the value of the car,” Critchlow said of the Ford.
State Farm said for every 116 drivers, one will hit an animal.
Pennsylvania ranks third behind No. 2 Montana and No. 1 West Virginia for most accidents involving animals.
Across the board, the experts said when faced with hitting a deer, try to stop, but don’t swerve.
Every year, human deaths are reported from deer strikes and most are caused by hitting something else.
“Stay on the road, don’t swerve don’t run off the road. You don’t want to trade a deer hit for a telephone pole, a tree or a guard rail,” Dietz said.
If you hit a deer and are going to file an insurance claim, take pictures of the damage and anything of the deer left on the car before you clean the vehicle.
Dietz said the most common reaction of drivers who hit a deer is to clean the car quickly.
That could be a mistake if the insurance company chooses not to believe you hit a deer.