Your Car And A Deer Encounter: What You Need To Know

The fall season is approaching quickly and with it comes mating season for deer. During mating season, deer are more frequently on the move, increasing the chance that you may accidentally hit one with your car. While most people know the risk of hitting a deer, few really understand the reality of it until it happens. Here's a look at some of the things you'll need to have checked on your car if you hit a deer.

Replace Broken Lights

Your car's light assemblies aren't made to withstand the impact of a deer. If you strike a deer with a part of your car where there are lights, you'll typically have to have the lights replaced. After an encounter with a deer, you should check all of the lights on the affected side of your car. 

Make sure that the lights work, the light assemblies aren't broken, and the lights are still securely in place. If there are any problems with the lights after you hit the deer, you'll want to have them replaced right away.

Address Body Damage

The average deer can weigh over 100 pounds, with some weighing as much as 300 pounds. That's a lot of weight to cause a sudden impact on your car. There's a good chance that your deer encounter left some body damage behind for you to have addressed.

Take a close look at the part of your car that struck the deer. Look for any dents, cracks, or other similar issues. You'll need to have body damage addressed by an auto body repair shop right away. Not only can body damage cause your car to fail its annual safety inspection, but there could be more damage beyond what you can see. 

For example, has the fender pushed the fender liner in against your tire? If you hear rubbing, you need to have it addressed quickly to avoid damage to your tire.

Consider Further Issues

Most deer accidents are caused by impact to the front end of your vehicle. What many car owners don't think about is that, if the deer struck your car in the front end but off to the side, that impact could have affected your car's alignment.

The steering rack and suspension are all fairly delicate components as the parts go. An impact such as that created by hitting a deer can knock all sorts of things out of alignment, even if it's only minimally. When you take your car in for the needed auto body repairs, you should have them check the steering and suspension for any indications of hidden damage, including the alignment.

Visit an auto repair shop if you've hit a deer.