October rutting season raises risk of £1,400 deer claim

The AA has warned that October is the peak month for drivers hitting deer because of their rutting season with average damage costing £1,403.

October sees a peak in deer collision claims as the autumn ‘rut' takes place, when some species of deer are on the move to their breeding areas.

Last year there were at least 42,500 reported deer strikes. Some estimates suggest there are as many as 74,000 strikes annually, many unreported.

Rush hour rutting

The most likely time for deer encounters is around dawn and dusk. And, with evenings drawing in, the movement of deer is increasingly likely to coincide with rush-hour traffic.

Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance said: "Deer are an often-unseen hazard until it's too late. As darkness falls collisions happen with little or no warning as the animals may literally leap out of woodland into the road.

“But places where deer are most likely to be seen are indicated by triangular hazard warning signs showing an image of a deer.

60mph crash

"At 60 miles per hour, hitting a deer is serious - not just for the animal but car occupants as well. A natural reaction is to try to avoid the collision but as a result, drivers may miss the deer and hit other vehicles or trees, which could be even worse.

"Cars can easily be written off in a collision with a deer and car occupants are often injured. Not only that, an increase in premium is likely to follow as some or all of any no-claim bonus will be lost, unless it's protected."