HOUSTON (KIAH) — According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Texas had the highest number of deaths from collisions with animals over 10 years, from 2009 to 2018.

A collision with deer or other animals can put a serious dent in your vehicle, if not destroy it completely, and could result in serious injuries or fatalities.

Fewer daylight hours and a spike in deer activity during the fall months increase the chances of roadway crashes with the animals. Deer collisions become more common this time of year since peak breeding season takes place in November.

Drivers not wearing a seatbelt and motorcyclists who are not wearing safety helmets are most vulnerable in crashes involving deer or other wildlife


Daniel Armbruster, AAA Texas spokesperson

To help prevent a crash or to reduce damage from an animal collision, AAA Texas suggests motorists:

  • Pay attention to road signs. Yellow, diamond-shaped signs with an image of a deer indicate areas with high levels of deer activity.
  • Keep your eyes on the road. Ditching distractions is one of the easiest ways to make sure you’re ready for when a deer comes out of nowhere. 
  • Be especially attentive in early morning and evening hours. Many animals, especially deer, are most active from 5-8 a.m. and 5-8 p.m., prime commuting times for many.
  • Use high beams when there’s no oncoming traffic. You can spot animals sooner. Sometimes the light reflecting off their eyes will reveal their location.
  • Slow down and watch for other deer to appearDeer rarely travel alone, so if you see one, there are likely to be more nearby.
  • Resist the urge to swerve. Instead, stay in your lane with both hands firmly on the wheel. Swerving away from animals can confuse them so they don’t know which way to run. It can also put you in the path of oncoming vehicles or cause you to crash into something.
  • If the crash is imminent take your foot off the brakeDuring hard braking, the front end of your vehicle is pulled downward which can cause the animal to travel up over the hood towards your windshield. Letting off the brake can protect drivers from windshield strikes because the animal is more likely to be pushed to one side of the vehicle or over the top of the vehicle.