JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Mississippi has one of the highest deer populations in the country. Deer are more active this time of year and the Mississippi Department of Transportation warns should be especially alert. How you react to a deer caught in your headlights could impact getting your vehicle repaired.
There were more than 3,300 vehicle deer crashes in Mississippi last year according to MDOT.
Officials says about 20 percent of crashes occur in the morning, while more than half occur between five p.m. and midnight.
Watch for deer crossing signs and use extreme caution in those areas.
John Mosely, owner of Clinton Body Shop says never try to swerve to avoid hitting a deer.
"Well if you hit the deer, it's normally a comprehensive claim, which doesn't go against the driver's policy.
Normally, where if you miss the deer, you hit a tree, you hit a car, you hit a fence or whatever, there is a lot better chance someone in the car is gonna get hurt. It's usually a collision claim, which carries a higher deductible than a comprehensive, and can be charged against the person's policy."
Leon Hemphill is in sales and marketing at Capitol Body Shop in Jackson.
When asked what percentage of business comes from vehicles hitting deer, Hemphill said, "Bert, typically this time of year we are going to see about 15 percent of our total collision business is the deer hits."
You may lose the front of your vehicle by hitting a deer, but all the experts say hit the deer rather than swerving to try to miss it and lose control. They say you are less likely to be injured and the insurance company will treat you better.
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