Fall's Here - and that Means Deer Accidents

Madison, Wis. (Oct. 7, 2004) - Watch out. The deer are running, and their sprint may take them right in front of your car.

Hundreds of thousands of deer-vehicle crashes occur annually, causing millions of dollars worth of damage, injuries and even death. Many of these accidents occur between October and November during the deer-breeding season.

Last year, American Family policyholders filed nearly 40,000 claims for vehicle crashes with animals, most of the time involving deer. Those claims totaled $75.4 million, with an average repair cost of about $2,000. Deer accident frequency was highest in the Midwest , particularly Wisconsin , Minnesota and Missouri .

Deer-vehicle crashes are often unavoidable, but here are a few defensive driving tips to minimize your chances:

If your vehicle strikes a deer, contact the authorities. You may be legally required to report an accident with significant vehicle damage, depending on state laws. Also contact your insurance company to report your claim. Collision with an animal is covered under the comprehensive section of your auto insurance policy.

Based in Madison, Wis., American Family Insurance offers auto, homeowners, life, health, commercial and farm/ranch insurance, plus financial services, in 17 states. American Family is the nation's third-largest mutual property/casualty insurance company.


Ken Muth
Media Relations Director
Tel: (608) 242-4100, ext. 30680
E-mail: mediarelations@amfam.com