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How to Avoid Hitting Deer: 5 Deer Accident Prevention Tips

In Pennsylvania, fall isn’t just deer hunting season – it’s also deer accident season. Bambi and friends may be cute when in their natural habitat, but on the roadways, they are a MASSIVE threat to your car.

Deer accidents can cause serious injury to the driver — and thousands of dollars in vehicle damage at the minimum. Every year at O’Neill’s, we restore dozens of cars that have been damaged by hitting deer.

Deer accident prevention is a crucial skill for being a safe driver.  Read our latest blog to learn how to avoid this costly and dangerous type of accident.

Deer crossing the road



5 Ways to Prevent Deer Accidents

If you’re a Lancaster County driver, chances are you recognize those telltale deer warning signs by the side of the road. As a driver, you can take precautions to avoid deer on the roads — these are our recommendations for how to avoid hitting deer:

Keep Aware of Danger Areas —Keeping especially alert in areas that are hotbeds of deer activity keep you safe. You want to pay attention to roads running through fields and forests — especially if hunting is prohibited. The PA turnpike is a common site of high-speed deer accidents.

Be Alert During Dangerous Times — While an accident can happen at any time, deer tend to stick to a bit of a routine. As a driver, you need to be on the lookout for deer during the early morning and the nighttime. While those times do pose the greatest risk, a deer can come from anywhere, at any time.

Learn to Spot Deer along the Roads — Scan the horizon of the road for the shapes and figures of deer. At night, you’ll notice that a deer’s eyes glow in the darkness. If you see a deer, watch it closely to ensure it doesn’t pose a threat to you and your car.

Watch Out for the Whole Pack — If you see one deer cross the road in front of you, PAY ATTENTION — more are likely on their way. As a pack animal, deer often travel in packs, naturally. Remember: if you see one, more may be nearby.

Use Your Horn — While some deer are no longer afraid of cars, deer are still scared of loud noises. If you see a deer by the side of the road, lay on your horn to scare it back into the wilderness. While some products you can purchase claim to emit a high-pitched sound to deter deer, these products have at best received mixed reviews from drivers.



How Can Hitting a Deer Damage Your Car?

If you do hit a deer, expect major damage totaling thousands of dollars — we’re sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but that’s the truth. As a leading auto body shop in deer-heavy Lancaster County, every year we see more deer accidents than we’d care to.

Here are the most common types of damage from hitting a deer with your car:

  • Grazing the side — Even if you only strike the deer with a glancing blow, it can graze the side of your car, tearing up the paint and panels. Although this can seem like a small repair comparatively, it can still cost two to three thousand dollars.
  • Shattered windshield — The deer’s horns and hooves can easily shatter your windshield after tearing up your car hood.
  • Under the car — Even if the deer you hit goes under your car, the damage will be extensive. You can expect to have a considerable repair as the deer will tear up the undercarriage of the vehicle.
  • Going over the top of the car — When bigger vehicles like trucks and SUVs hit deer, the animal often goes over the top of the car. This requires a large repair as the damage often extends from the hood and across the roof.
  • A car rear ends you if you stop suddenly — Finally, we repair cars that have been rear-ended as the result of stopping suddenly due to seeing or hitting a deer in the road.


Hood damage due to hitting a deer 


Expert Auto Body Repair in Lancaster County

Whether you need to have your car restored after a deer accident or you need any other auto body work, O’Neill’s is the team to trust.

At O’Neill’s, our expert technicians and state-of-the-art equipment doesn’t just repair your car but restores it to look better than new. Learn more about the services we can provide for drivers — and contact us today for a free estimate.


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