At Glass.com, we’ve heard some bizarre stories of animals breaking windshields. From turkeys to turtles, owls and ponies, animals—even small critters—can do major damage. Damage most commonly comes from deer though, which are prevalent throughout North America. A full-grown adult deer can weigh up to 300 pounds, which can cause enough damage to total a vehicle and even kill occupants. Male deer, called bucks, typically have antlers, and can do even more damage than female deer, also known as does.
Last year, deer caused over 1.5 million accidents, accounting for nearly 80% of all animal-related accidents. For perspective, there are approximately 6 million total car accidents every year, meaning that deer account for a whopping 25%, or one out of every 4 accidents that occur.
Although deer are out roaming all year long, there is one particular part of the year when they become more active, which means the chances of hitting one are greater. This time of year, referred to as the rut, is a deer’s mating season. The season typically begins near the end of October and runs about five weeks. During the rut, bucks are on the move chasing does. For drivers, this means that deer may run out onto the road suddenly. Hunting seasons around the country can run from September through January though, a time when deer are still active, but not at their peak.
So how can you as the driver avoid having your windshield destroyed by a deer? Here’s a few helpful tips and tricks to keep you safe:
What should you do if you can’t avoid hitting the deer?
Even the safest, most cautious drivers can’t avoid every accident. If a deer is in the middle of the road at night when you come around a blind curve, chances are you will not have enough time to react and impact is inevitable. So what’s the “safest” way to hit a deer?
The first key is to avoid evasive maneuvers that risk losing control of the vehicle. Never swerve into oncoming traffic, which puts yours and other’s lives in danger. Also, don’t leave the roadway. You could end up hitting a tree or telephone pole. Unless you can safely maneuver around the deer in a controlled manner without leaving the roadway or driving into oncoming traffic, the best course of action is to apply firm braking pressure and bring the vehicle to a quick but controlled stop—even if this means hitting the deer.
What should you do if you hit a deer while driving?
Any sort of car accident can be scary and emotional, especially when it involves another living creature. Just remember to stay calm and stay safe. Luckily, car windshields are very strong. Although a deer may break it, the chances of the deer penetrating this windshield are lessened because of the tough polycarbonate interlayer sandwiched between the two pieces of glass. This polycarbonate interlayer is designed to hold the glass in place, should it get broken.
This is one reason why it’s so important to have your windshield replaced if it’s damaged; your windshield acts as a safety device—a barrier between you and outside objects. If the windshield is already damaged due to a crack or chip, this creates a weak point that could cause the windshield to fail altogether in the event of a collision. Having your windshield replaced by a reputable auto glass shop that follows safe replacement procedures is also key in ensuring that the windshield serves its purpose in the event of an emergency.
Should you need your windshield replaced, use Glass.com to find a reputable shop nearby. Simply go to Glass.com, type in your zip code, input the year, make and model of your vehicle, then view quotes from local shops in your area. Like what you see? Go ahead and book conveniently online and we’ll have the shop reach out to you to confirm your appointment.