October 27, 2014 - No, this is not going to be another blog reminding you to “Don’t veer for deer”. I think you already know that. In fact, you can get all the information you need on being careful to avoid a car deer crash from SEMCOG’s website at www.semcog.org.
Because this graceful running is not limited to fields.
What I want to tell you about is what to do if you have hit a deer. It happened to me last year. Actually in my case, the deer hit me. I pulled over to the side of the road and did not know what to do next. My car was fine, the deer was gone, but I was shaken up a bit. Eventually, I got myself together and continued to my meeting, shaken, but uninjured.
So, here are some steps to follow if you do hit a deer:
- Pull safely over to the side of the road and turn on your hazard lights.
- Call 911. Explain that you have hit a deer and let them know if it is an emergency or not.
- Contact your insurance company as soon as possible if your car needs to be towed or to just alert them to the situation.
- Don’t go looking for any injured animals off the main roads.
- Don’t walk around on the roads.
- Don’t underestimate damage to your car; check for leaking fluids and make sure the hood of the vehicle is secure. Do not drive if the airbags are deployed.
Although the animal that hit me was able to flee the scene, not all deer are so lucky. Many motorists are unsure of the proper procedure once they have hit an animal let alone what to do with what's left.
Highway kill tags are issued for the deer carcasses. Generally, whoever hit the animal is given the opportunity to claim it. The Michigan State Police have people to call who will pick up the animal to be processed if no one wants it.
Hopefully, you will not have an encounter with a deer, but if you do, perhaps you will know a bit more than I did about what to do next.
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