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On the Watch for Whitetails: Tips to Avoid Deer Collisions This Fall

NASHVILLE, Tenn.--Nov. 1, 20041, 2004--Now that fall has arrived, deer and drivers are sharing the highways of the wooded south. Allstate's Southern Region cautions motorists to be more aware of their surroundings so that they can avoid deer collisions.

"Once the first frost arrives, male deer activity increases and we generally see more auto and deer collisions," says Allstate spokesman, Michael Brewer. "Drivers need to be extra cautious when driving to make sure that they don't hit deer running across the road. Not only can the deer be harmed, but it is also a dangerous situation for the passengers in the vehicle, not to mention the potential damage to an automobile."

November is typically deer mating season. This means Whitetail deer will be more active, and more likely to be involved in a car-deer crash. Allstate estimates these crashes cause American drivers at least $130 million in damage each year, or $2,000 per vehicle. Allstate recommends installing deer whistles or other associated devices to protect drivers in rural and/or wooded areas.

In addition, there are a number of myths associated with deer-car crashes that Allstate, in partnership with a number of states across the nation, are sharing with drivers to remind them to be on watch for Whitetails.

MYTH #1: Always swerve to avoid hitting a deer.

Actually, police statistics show that most motorist deaths and injuries occur when drivers swerve to avoid hitting the deer and strike a fixed object, such as a tree or another vehicle. It may seem powerless, but simply applying your brakes while you're buckled up, gripping the steering wheel with both hands, and coming to a controlled stop (if possible) can actually help minimize damage and injuries.

MYTH #2: Motorcyclists are not as likely to strike a deer.

In fact, motorcyclists are more vulnerable to death or injury in motorcycle-deer crashes. More than 80 percent of all motorcycle-deer crashes involve an injury.

MYTH #3: Deer are usually out at dusk.

In addition to dusk, you should watch for deer during their prime feeding times; especially at dawn and the first few hours of darkness.

Here are some other tips Allstate recommends:

-- Be especially cautious when driving on two-lane roads and rural roads.

-- If you see one deer cross, slow down and watch for others to follow.

-- Glance continually from the road to the roadside, looking for movement where roads are bordered by fields or natural habitat.

-- Heed deer crossing signs and reduce speed in deer "hot spots."

-- At night, watch for reflection from headlights in the eyes of deer.

-- If a deer "freezes" in your headlights, turn your lights off and then on.

For more information on this and other safety topics, visit

The Allstate Corporation is the nation's largest publicly held personal lines insurer. Widely known through the "You're In Good Hands With Allstate(R)" slogan, Allstate provides insurance products to more than 16 million households and has approximately 12,900 exclusive agencies and financial specialists in the U.S. and Canada. Customers can access Allstate products and services through Allstate agents, or in select states at and 1-800 Allstate(R). Encompass(SM) and Deerbrook(R) Insurance brand property and casualty products are sold exclusively through independent agents. Allstate Financial Group includes the businesses that provide life, annuity and insurance, retirement, banking and investment products through distribution channels that include Allstate agents, independent agents, worksite, financial institutions and broker-dealers.