Use caution as deer activity increases

Published 12:53 pm Friday, October 29, 2021

It’s that time of year when drivers should prepare for the added dangers of sharing Virginia’s roadways with deer.

Deer migration and mating season occurs from October through December, and the animals’ increased presence near roads often leads to an increase in collisions. The frequency of these collisions usually peaks in November and December.

Virginia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. claims data from 2019 revealed 48% of all deer-related auto insurance claims occurred in the fall, with the highest number of incidents in November.

In 2019 there were 448 collisions with deer in October, 668 in November and 657 in December, accounting for $4.8 million in losses. In total, VFBMIC received 3,651 deer-related claims in 2019, up nearly 25% from 2,923 in 2018.

To minimize the risk of striking a deer, motorists are encouraged to drive slowly and be aware of their surroundings. Driving slowly can help increase reaction time and can potentially reduce vehicle damage caused by a collision.