On Monday night, there were two collisions between cars and deer within hours in the city of Savage, Minn. With the most dangerous time of year fast approaching, FOX 9 News found some tips for drivers.
Minnesota ranks in the top 10 when it comes to deer-car collisions per year with a one in 80 chance for a deer encounter. Furthermore, October and November are the months that bring the highest risk.
Carissa Wetch often works late shifts as a server, and that means she drives home in the dark. That's not an ideal time to be on the road, especially this time of year.
"I wasn't texting or changing the radio station," she told FOX 9 News. "I was paying attention and they just came out of nowhere."
The "they" she is talking about were deer -- five of them in the middle of Highway 13 in Savage. In a split-second, Wetch needed to make a life-saving choice.
"It was go over the median, hit the other car or go for the deer," she recalled. "I went for the deer and my car took it."
Wetch told FOX 9 News she was surprised the animal didn't crash through into the car, saying it "bounced off the front" of her car before it "landed in" the windshield. In the end, she was fine -- but her car was totaled.
Just a few hours earlier, another collision occurred in a residential part of Savage. In that crash,the driver hit the deer, which flew up and landed in the back of a 17-year-old's truck.
"About 20 percent of our accidents are deer-related -- if you can believe that, especially in October and November," said Troy Thompson, with Pinnacle Insurance of Minnesota.
Thompson said most motorists know not to swerve when they see a deer -- unless, of course, they're on a motorcycle. In that case, they should hit the brakes and try to avoid the animal.
"I know Bambi is cute, but when you swerve into a semi, it's a lot worse situation than just hitting a deer," he said.
What many drivers don't know is that if they do collide with a deer, they should pull over and call police immediately.
"The deer could be on the road, which could cause [additional] accidents," Thompson explained. "It's always nice to have a paper trail and proof of the accident for your insurance company."
As for insurance, not everyone is covered when it comes to hitting a deer.
"Things like hail, flood and hitting an animal is covered under comprehensive," Thompson said.
When it comes to whether or not insurance rates will rise after reporting a collision, it depends on the company and how many crashes a driver has been involved in.
WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
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