HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)-- In Alabama, State Farm estimates you have a 1 in 133 chance of hitting a deer while driving. That's slightly higher than the national average.
Deer are moving targets you might just find caught in your headlights. So we're taking action to help you avoid crashes, and know what to do if you can't.
Trooper Curtis Summerville said deer crossing signs aren't just for show. Perhaps the most obvious of his tips are to wear your seat belt and stay vigilant, especially when you see those signs.
"It's the peak season for deer crashes," he explained.
He said police usually are called to respond to deer crashes between dusk and dawn when the deer are out while it's dark. He said often they're traveling in groups and where you see one, you see a few following.
He also suggested you don't swerve if there's a deer in the road. Often, you'll find yourself moving into oncoming traffic or a ditch. Instead, he recommended this: "Lay on your horn, real loud, slow down in order to frighten that deer away."
If that doesn't work and a crash is unavoidable, he said you shouldn't get out and try to check on the deer.
"Do not get out and touch that deer," he warned. "A wounded deer, a wounded animal like that, may actually hurt you. Because keep in mind, this is still a wild animal and it's not used to being in contact with human beings."
Try to pull off the road, he said, and get to a safe place when possible. Of course, if you're hurt you should seek help. But if you're not, and your car is driveable, it may not be necessary to call police.
"Some insurance companies don't even require crash reports," Summerville explained. "They just require you to come in and show the damage to an adjustor."
He said you should check with your insurance company to see what they do.