Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate drivers about...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Licensed Agent for 10 Years

UPDATED: Jan 30, 2020

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While a deer may remind you of Bambi, the fact is when one hits your car, Bambi is the furthest thing on your mind. These animals average 150 pounds or more and can cause serious damage to almost any vehicle, including fatal injuries to the driver and passengers.

While deer accidents are common throughout many areas of the country, there are still thousands of drivers uninsured against a car accident with a deer. In order to have protection against injuries and damages in a car accident with a deer, you need to carry a full coverage auto insurance policy.

Drivers with only a liability insurance policy have no coverage when it comes to deer accidents and even drivers with only liability, and collision coverage can be left with a pile of bills.

Most damage from a car accident with a deer is covered under comprehensive car insurance as many auto insurance companies exclude this type of collision from your collision coverage.

“Auto insurance coverage varies from one provider to another, and every state has different laws — Never assume you are automatically covered for a deer accident without asking your provider first.”

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How many car accidents involve deer every year?

The amount of car accidents involving deer every year is no laughing matter. Over 1.5 million car accidents happen annually resulting from a collision with these animals.

Although most involve just vehicle damage, there are still well over 10,000 drivers personally injured and someone dies almost every day from a deer accident.

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Will my auto insurance rates go up after a car accident with a deer?

Anytime you submit an auto insurance claim your auto insurance rates may increase. Whether you hit a deer, turtle or sea lion it doesn’t really matter what type of animal you hit.

What is important is the amount of the claim and the circumstances of the collision which determine how your auto insurance rates will be affected. If you have a single accident waiver on your policy it’s important to ask your auto insurance company whether or not a car accident with a deer will count towards this accident waiver.

Some auto insurance companies exclude a deer accident from accident waiver coverage so even if this is your first accident you may still see higher auto insurance rates.

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What can I do to prevent a deer from hitting my car?

Anytime you are driving in an area known for its deer population, the most important thing is to stay alert. Most deer accidents happen with almost no notice, so it’s imperative you stay aware of your surroundings.

Auto insurance claims rise sharply in the fall for deer accidents, but there are some things you can do to reduce your chance of having Bambi destroy your new car.

Use Your High Beams

Ever hear the expression “a deer in headlights”? Deer are often hypnotized by a vehicle’s lights and simply stop on the road to engage in a staring contest. Try to flicker your lights or your high beams to shake the deer out of this trance, and hopefully it will just move on.

Always Pay Attention to Other Drivers

Whenever you are driving on the highway, always pay attention to the lights of other vehicles. If someone is driving in the opposite direction and flashing their lights, it’s probably not because they have a twitchy finger. They are warning you about something ahead. This could be a speed trap, a deer sighting, or anything else.

Always try to slow down and proceed with caution when you see other people flicker their lights. Highway drivers are some of the most courteous people in the world.

Bambi Always Has a Posse

It is very rare for a deer to travel alone. If you see one deer, always drive with extreme caution knowing that a family of deer are likely to be very close.

Never Panic

While sometimes panicking is a natural reaction, many car accidents with a deer can be avoided, especially for drivers who are paying attention to the road. While it’s always important to avoid texting, eating, and any other distraction while operating a vehicle, this is even more important when you are driving in an area with deer.

How do I know if my auto insurance policy covers a car accident with a deer?

Many online resources can provide general comments about how auto insurance works, but only your provider can confirm how your policy works for damage from a car accident with a deer.

If you don’t know, then call them today and make sure you have the coverage you need. Without the right type of insurance, you may find it difficult to even afford Bambi on DVD after a car accident.

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