No one likes having to shell out for car repairs, do they? But unfortunately, this is just one of those annoying facts of life – it happens to us all eventually.
But, of course, careful driving and being aware of your surroundings can help to mitigate the risks of damaging your vehicle… and you should perhaps be particularly vigilant at this time of year, as thousands of deer are now on the move and if you hit one of them, your car will certainly regret it.
AA research shows that up to 74,000 deer are hit by cars each and every year, which causes around £11 million in damage. These collisions are most likely to happen during autumn and winter, so do take care when you’re on the roads at the moment.
Keep an eye out for a leaping deer in a red triangle signpost telling you where deer are most likely to be encountered. It’s not just along little country roads that you’ll likely come across these animals, however, and they’ve also been known to attempt to cross A roads and motorways.
If you do see a deer, try not to brake and swerve at the same time. Doing this means you could lose control of the car completely and potentially hit an oncoming vehicle, particularly if it’s wet and there are lots of leaves on the road.
Insurance director with the AA Janet Connor commented: “There are some two million deer in the UK and the population is rising. It’s estimated that up to 74,000 of them are hit by vehicles every year, according to The Deer Initiative and as autumn progresses, our own customers’ insurance claims for deer strikes sharply rises.
“That’s because we’re coming into the rutting season for our largest deer species. The males have only one thing on their mind and are most likely to be on the move chasing females during dusk and dawn which coincides with the morning and evening commutes.”
If your car is damaged or any passengers or the driver injured because of a collision with an animal of any kind, you should be able to make a claim on your car insurance. However, always check the fine print as terms and conditions can vary.
Don’t forget to take any photos of the scene and speak to any witnesses, taking statements, as the more information you have to give to your insurance company the better. You will still lose your no claims bonus if you hit a wild animal and end up claiming on your insurance.
That said, if the animal you hit is either a pet or a farm animal (known as an ‘owned’ animal) and you can firmly establish that the owner of said animal is responsible for what happened, they will be liable for costs you incur.
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