Deer tend to travel in herds and remain relatively confined to small areas. The Department of Transportation identifies herds of deer and posts deer-crossing signs in high risk areas. In the coming months, it will be especially important for Virginia drivers to be on the lookout for deer where deer-crossing signs are posted.
In 2008 there were 1.5 million deer-vehicle crashes in the United States. It is estimated that deer cause over $1 billion annually in automobile damages. Virginia specifically has seen an increase in the number of deer-vehicle crashes over the past five years, with 6,918 total crashes in 2008 alone.
In the case of a deer-vehicle collision, it is the responsibility of the driver or the driver’s insurance company to cover any damages associated with the accident. AAA Mid-Atlantic reports that “the average claim paid to a Virginia driver after a deer collision [in 2008] was $2,800.” With damages often surpassing that amount, it is important to carry insurance that will cover any expenses related to a deer-vehicle crash. These figures do not include the Virginia personal injuries caused by car accidents with deer. While sometimes the only damage is to property, a collision with a deer can cause an accident with injuries.