Adjusters and body shops in North Carolina have been especially busy this season.
Although drivers in North Carolina have always needed to remain aware of deer near the roads, this year is proving to be an especially problematic one for auto insurance claims involving collisions between vehicles and the animals.
This time of year presents a dangerous combination of hormonal deer and vehicle traffic at dusk and dawn.
According to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Park and Recreation natural resources manager, Chris Matthews, “This is the time of year when the deer get active,” having added that “Unfortunately, that increased activity sometimes brings them in contact with drivers.” This is leading to more crashes and more claims on auto insurance policies than at other times of the year.
A recent report has also indicated that the auto insurance claims will likely continue.
North Carolina state transportation officials have shared that over the last three years, there have been 19,500 crashes related to animals, and 90 percent of those events involved Deer. This number has brought about over twice the average auto insurance claims involving deer crashes than were seen in the late 1990s.
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Another report, released by State Farm Auto Insurance has now included the Carolinas among the leading 16 most high risk states for crashes involving passenger vehicles and deer.
Many of the auto insurance claims detail collisions that occur on rural or suburban roads, where the majority of people would expect them to take place. Last week, a crash cited by the North Carolina Highway Patrol on N.C. 16 occurred near the county line between Lincoln and Gaston, heavily damaging a vehicle (though fortunately not seriously injuring the woman who was driving it).
However, what auto insurance companies are finding notable is that this problem now has a growing urban presence. In uptown Charlotte in October, the John Belk Freeway had to be shut down for a half hour during the most busy part of the morning rush hour because one of these animals had made its way onto the road. Although the deer was hit and was reported to have been injured, it made its own way back off the road again.