What To Do If You Hit A Deer This Season
I've never been the driver when a car hit a deer, but I do know a few things.
I learned the hard way, though. I was the passenger in a minivan when I was working for a sort of home health type company. My boss hit a deer on a back highway and just kept going.
That's not what you do. The car barely made it back to the house, and it was pretty much totaled after that. The big boss was not happy about that.
So, I was able to apply my knowledge to Husbando yesterday evening. He was driving to a friend's house on Highway 50 and a deer came out, ran back and then forward again, and he just couldn't miss it. He'd never hit an animal before, so he just called me in a mild panic and asked me what to do. After we made sure he was okay (we're diligent about seat belts), I asked him if he was parked properly - even though I could hear the tick of the hazard lights on. So yeah, he was off the highway on the shoulder (if that's what you call it).
Next, I had him check and see if the deer was still around. It was not. He said it was like the deer exploded on his car. Gross. Since the deer wasn't around to maybe get aggressive or somehow defensive, he was good.
I told him to make sure to check the car to see if anything was leaking, if anything was hanging down, and to take a lot of pictures. We'll need those later for the insurance. Another thing that I told him to do, which you should as well - is to call the police. In this instance, he wasn't sure where he was (he was in between towns, you know how it goes when 50 gets to one lane east of town). So that meant 911, and they directed him to the Highway Patrol. When you call the cops after you hit an animal, unless you're injured, they're probably not going to come to the scene. What's going to happen is they're going to log the accident for you. Again, that's for the insurance, to prove this really happened, and how and when it happened. The Patrol told him he probably wouldn't need a report, but if he needed one, they'd provide him one as they took his details.
Husbando then took more pictures and checked back with me. He said the damage was cosmetic. The grill was a little bent, the car logo was gone, the license plate frame was cracked. He didn't see anything leaking, nothing protruding, the only thing he saw was deer blood and guts. Again, gross. But I digress.
Now what I would recommend to you is to not assume your car is driveable. It could have had some kind of internal damage or something. But, Husbando is a man, so he told me it would be fine, and if the car started driving funny, he'd turn back. He made it to his destination fine and made it back home fine, so that's the important part.
So basically, when you hit a deer here's what you should do:
1. Get safely off the road
2. Move the deer off the road or stay away from the injured deer
3. Call the police/Highway Patrol
4. Take lots of pictures
5. Call a tow truck if it's serious, check the car if it's not
6. Call your insurance ASAP.
You know they're out there, so be careful. If you can avoid hitting anything, obviously that's ideal, but if you do hit one, be safe out there. And take LOTS of pictures.