Deer collision repair costs up nearly 30 percent, deer activity on the rise

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KBSI) – It can cost thousands of dollars to repair your vehicle after a collision with a deer, and those repair costs are up 29 percent from last year. 

AAA reports that on average, repairs are costing almost $6500 in the region, which is as high as they have ever been. 

AAA Missouri Public Affairs Specialist Nick Chabarria outlined the factors that are contributing to those costs. 

“There are a number of reasons impacting that, including higher parts and labor costs,” he said. “We’re still dealing with some auto part supply issues, supply shortages, coming out of COVID, and as vehicle technology advances, which of course helps keep us safe on the road, we know the costs to repair those technologies and those systems are increased, as well.” 

Traditional collision coverage will not cover you in the event of hitting a deer. Therefore, drivers need additional coverage to avoid even higher repair costs. 

“Collision coverage covers collisions with other vehicles, or if you hit a stationary object like a telephone poll or a guardrail,” Chabarria said. “Comprehensive coverage, which is an opt-in feature of most auto insurance policies, will cover the damage caused by colliding with a deer.” 

We see an increase in deer activity during November, which is peak breeding season as they are in rut. So, with the potential danger of a collision and auto repair costs soaring, Chabarria says using extra caution is paramount in reducing your risk of being involved in a costly incident. 

Chabarria said not to swerve to avoid hitting a deer, but rather to hit your brakes and keep both hands firmly on the wheel. But if a collision is imminent, he said there is a split-second maneuver that could make a large difference in the outcome of the accident. 

“If there’s an opportunity, right before impact, we recommend taking your foot off the brake,” he said. “That way, your front end is going to absorb most of that impact, rather than if you were laying on your brakes, your vehicle’s hood would be at an angle, and the animal would have a better chance of rolling up onto the hood and into the windshield, which of course not only causes more damage, but also becomes a safety hazard for the driver and passenger, as well.” 

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