It’s still deer season. The fall has traditionally been mating season, or "the rut" as it’s called where deer are running around in a constant state of arousal. This means more accidents and more dead deer lying along our highways.

Usually, when we start to get into the thick of winter, we can all relax a little when we drive; assuming that we won’t run into a deer in our cars. But that’s actually not the case.

The deer season has become longer and even more perilous since we have tightened restrictions on hunting them. So, people are still running into them, and we are hearing about deer-related vehicular accidents every day. So what to do when you hit a deer? These are the things you need to know.

If you hit a deer in New Jersey, you should take the following steps:

Move your vehicle to a safe location if possible.

If your vehicle is not driveable or if it is blocking traffic, turn on your hazard lights and wait for help.

Call the police to report the accident.

The police will investigate the accident and fill out a report, which may be necessary for insurance purposes.

Check for injuries.

If you or anyone else involved in the accident has been injured, call 911 for medical assistance.

Exchange information with the other driver(s) involved in the accident.

Make sure to get the name, contact information, insurance information and license plate number of any other driver involved in the accident.

Take pictures of the accident scene and any damage to your vehicle.

This can be helpful for insurance purposes.

Notify your insurance company.

Most insurance policies require you to report any accident involving your vehicle, even if it was just a collision with a deer. Your insurance company will be able to advise you on the next steps and help you with any claims you need to make.

Consider contacting the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife to report the accident.

Hitting a deer can be a traumatic experience, and the Division of Fish and Wildlife may be able to provide resources and support to help you cope.

(photo: Michael Karas, Getty Images)
(photo: Michael Karas, Getty Images)

In general, it is important to remain calm and follow the steps outlined above if you hit a deer in New Jersey. By taking the right actions, you can ensure the safety of yourself and others involved in the accident; and protect your own interests with respect to insurance and other legal matters.

It’s been explained 1,000 times that it’s actually helpful for the deer population to have a deer hunt. Because mother nature will take care of and cull the population in a much more kind of natural way than being slaughtered on the roadways.

But listen, this is New Jersey. As long as people think of all deer as sad little Bambis, more and more humans are going to get injured and killed. So at least know what to do if you hit one, and live to tell the tale.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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