You’re Not In Kansas..Uhm.. California Anymore

Not to be stereotypical but California really does enjoy a very specific Mediteranean climate, and while it unfortunately leads to a nasty fire season, it also means that one particular season is so mild in comparison to other regions that it’s almost non existent.

Preparing For Winter That Lasts Til March

If you are from the Inland Empire or high desert then you may be familiar with some cold, windy days but there’s a big difference with Southern Climate. It’s not just December that’s cold, it’s going to be in or around the thirty degree mark for over a month.

What to do? Add layers! 

Hit the Army Surplus store on Hillsboro and grab some “Base Layers” made of nylon synthetic materials that work like “long johns” but also wick moisture away from your body while keeping you warm.

Watch out for Deer! What You Need to Know In TN

When the weather turns crisp, you look forward to seeing the leaves turn tones of plum, gold, crimson, and persimmon or even anticipate the first flakes of snow.

Yet if you’re like most careful native motorists in Tennessee, you also keep your eyes peeled for deer. Groups of whitetail can be an endearing sight when you’re out on a stroll, but not when they leap out in front of your vehicle. Since your chances of colliding with one increase sharply during fall and winter, you need to adjust your California driving with some handy tips when you’re hitting the road.

Your Chances of Hitting a Deer in TN

Your odds of slamming into one of these forest-dwellers vary from state to state. Bankrate recently revealed that the probability of deer crashes is highest in West Virginia, where motorists have a 1 in 41 shot of a deer-automobile accident. In contrast, Hawaiians have a 1 in 6,823 chance of colliding into a whitetail.

Meanwhile, the average Tennessean faces a 1 in 143 likelihood of a vehicular deer collision, which is close to the 1 in 169 national average disclosed by the New York Times.

The Costs of Deer-Auto Collisions Rise

The same aforementioned New York Times piece also mentioned that expenses from deer-vehicle encounters continue to rise. In 2015, the cost per claim averaged around $4,100. Higher auto body repair prices are partially responsible for the hike, but claims across the nation have also risen in step with the increasing number of deer crashes reported over the last few years. Causes for the upsurge aren’t clear, but many propose that it’s either due to more motorists on the roads, a growth in deer populations nationwide, or both.

Comprehensive Auto Insurance and Deer Damage

Since typical deer-auto accidents are head-on crashes, does the collision portion of your auto insurance cover the costs? Usually not. Claims of this nature are generally paid for by the comprehensive part of your vehicle policy, which handles damage to your car, truck, van or SUV from fire, theft, vandalism, and inclement weather. Since these are typically considered “no-fault” instances, you probably won’t see your premiums go up after hitting a deer.

Collision Coverage and Deer-Related Claims

There are a few exceptions to general practices, however. If you hit another vehicle or object because you swerved to avoid an animal, it may be treated as a collision claim. Keep in mind that you may be encouraged or even required to purchase both collision and comprehensive together if you don’t already have either one. Navigating these gray areas of coverage can get a little confusing, so it’s a good idea to talk with your Nashville local insurance agents for clarification on how deer-related claims are dealt with by your auto policies.

Taking an Ounce of Prevention

In truth, your best bet is to avoid deer damage in the first place. The Insurance Information Institute published several best practices to follow:

  • Pay extra attention to deer activity between sunset and midnight, as well as shortly before and after sunrise.
  • Keep your eyes peeled at deer crossings, near farmland, and on roads close to wooded areas.
  • Turn on your high beams during nighttime driving, when there is no oncoming traffic.
  • Reduce speed and hit your horn with one long blast to disperse any deer ahead.
  • Brake firmly, remain in your lane, and do not swerve to avoid deer.

Be Prepared and Get Covered

Cautious driving and proper auto coverage are essentials when it comes to dealing with deer. Your first line of defense is knowing what your policy handles and adding coverage as needed. Pair that with defensive driving tactics and together, you’ve got smart solutions to help you cut back on hassles and expenses from deer-related claims.