Alabama drivers may not be hunting for accidents, but recent reports show deer collisions are on the rise.
In 2019, Alfa Insurance paid out more than $22 million on 5,164 deer claims — an increase of more than 16% from 2018, bringing the average cost per claim to nearly $4,300.
Alfa’s Bryan Hubbard urges drivers to stay alert in the coming months so they don’t find themselves caught like a deer in the headlights.
“We understand accidents happen, but practicing safe driving habits could reduce your risk of coming into contact with deer crossing roadways,” said Hubbard, senior vice president of claims. “It’s important to remember while rural areas do see more deer activity in cooler months, these animals often venture across heavily traveled interstates and other popular roadways. Stay safe, and stay alert.”
According to Hubbard, the top Alabama counties with deer claims for 2019 were Lamar, 207; Walker, 173; Jackson, 169; and Marion, 156.
A report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated new technology advancements in driver assistance systems could help reduce the number of vehicle collisions each year. While most driver assistance systems offer a variety of safety features to help drivers detect and avoid dangers, there are few systems designed to actively prevent collisions without human reaction.
One company making progressive efforts toward taking immediate action before a crash is StradVision. To offset animal collisions, StradVision announced the addition of an animal detection feature in its SVNet software. StradVision, an artificial intelligence object recognition company, made the announcement in March.
“Our animal detection software will be able to assume control of the vehicle where human reactions would not otherwise be able to prevent the collision,” said StradVision CEO Junhwan Kim, who predicts advanced driver assistance systems will be widely used by 2021.
Meanwhile, animal strike-related claims tend to rise quickly in October and peak in November across the Southeast. The Alabama Department of Transportation urges motorists to exercise caution when traveling at dawn and dusk, know when not to swerve, drive defensively, watch for deer traveling in herds near water sources and expect the unexpected.
Should an incident occur, Hubbard reminds auto customers to remember comprehensive auto insurance provides coverage needed for unpredicted damages.
“No one enjoys being in an accident, but should the need to file a claim arise, we want our customers to know we’ll be there for them,” Hubbard said. “Our talented team of adjusters, agents and CSRs are proud to deliver on that promise every day.”
For questions about coverage or what to do in an accident, contact your local Alfa office or visit AlfaInsurance.com.