Part 2, What to Do If You Hit A Deer?

Mar 5, 2019 | Driving Safety

No one wants to hit a deer or other animal while they’re driving. Most people value living creatures and don’t want to be the reason for killing any. Hitting a deer or other large mammal also can cause accidents as well as car damages. Handling a roadkill collision can be daunting if you’re unclear about which steps to take.

Read below for tips to avoid hitting wildlife on the road. You’ll also learn what to do if you cause or encounter roadkill and how your auto insurance coverage might cover any damages in an animal-related accident.

Jump to:
Part 1: How To Avoid Deer and Other Animals on the Road
Part 2: What to Do if You Hit an Animal with Your Car
Part 3: If I Hit a Deer, Does Insurance Cover It?

What to Do if You Hit an Animal with Your Car

Unfortunately, even the most cautious drivers can accidentally hit an animal on the road. If you have the misfortune of hitting a deer or other fauna, following are tips to handle the situation.

Who Is Responsible for Dead Animals on the Road?

Wondering who picks up roadkill?

It varies by state, municipality and jurisdiction. In many states, the towing company takes care of the cleanup along with any other debris from the accident if there is a car collision.

Within city boundaries, it’s often the beautification, sanitation, animal control or public works department. On highways and interstates, it’s usually the state’s department of transportation.

On county roads, the county typically has jurisdiction.

What to Do if You See an Injured or Dead Animal on the Road

If you weren’t involved in a crash with an animal but you see one on the road, here’s what to do:

  • Avoid the animal if it’s still alive to keep from getting hurt by scared and injured wildlife. Call an animal control agency if the animal is injured or dying.
  • If the animal is a domestic pet, look for identification tags and try to contact the owner. Take the animal to a local vet or shelter. Go to nearby farms if the animal is a cow, sheep or other farm animal.
  • Move carcasses to the side of the road to avoid other scavenger animals entering the roadway. Call the local agency responsible for carcass maintenance on the road.