Clearfield County, PA – We’re getting reports of minor crashes involving deer and bears.

Although none of the recent accidents had any major injuries, hitting a large animal can definitely cause some damage to your vehicle.

Keep an eye out for movement on the side of the road, especially in wooded areas.

Watch your speed. Slowing down can help give you more time to react if a deer or bear runs in front of your car.

***

If you do hit a deer or other animal:

Move your vehicle to a safe place. If possible, pull off of the road and turn on your hazard lights. If you have to get out of your vehicle, make sure to watch for oncoming vehicles and stay off of the road. In the same way that a deer is hard to see on the side of the road at dusk or dawn, other motorists will also have a difficult time seeing you!

Call the police. Alert officials if the deer is blocking the road or creating a problem for other drivers. If the crash results in an injury or property damage, you might need to fill out an official report. It can also prove useful when filing an insurance claim.

Document the incident. If it’s safe to do so, take photos of the roadway, your surroundings, the damage to your vehicle, and any injuries. If witnesses stop, ask to take down their account of what happened and their contact information.

Stay away from the animal. A frightened or wounded deer can be dangerous. Wild animals have powerful legs and deer have sharp hooves. If you are concerned that the deer is suffering, call the PA Game Commission.

Don’t assume your vehicle is safe to drive. Look for leaking fluid, loose parts, tire damage, broken headlights, and problems with your hood (such as it not latching). If your vehicle seems unsafe in any way, call for a tow truck.

Contact your insurance agent. The sooner you report damage or injuries, the sooner your agent can file and process your claim.