Carson City, NV March 19, 2021
Division of Insurance (Division) is reminding consumers to be alert when
driving to avoid wildlife collisions during the springtime when certain animals
migrate in search of food after the winter months.
“The increase in
active animal population potentially increases the risk of hitting an animal
with a vehicle while driving in wildlife-prone areas,” said Insurance
Commissioner Barbara Richardson. “Wildlife-vehicle collisions are not only
dangerous and potentially fatal, but they can also have serious financial
consequences without adequate auto insurance coverage.”
to a vehicle from a collision with an animal is covered under an auto
policy's optional comprehensive coverage. If you only have collision or
liability coverage, your insurance carrier will not cover damage to your
vehicle resulting from a collision with an animal.
your insurance agent or company if you are not sure if you have
comprehensive coverage or if you would like to purchase this optional
Driving safely in wildlife-prone areas:
- Obey all speed limits,
traffic signs and regulations.
- Wear seatbelts and limit
distractions while driving.
- Heed animal warning
signs. Be alert for the potential of wildlife, particularly where wildlife
warning signs are posted.
- Actively scan all sides
of the road as you drive and look for any signs of wildlife.
- Slow down or otherwise
adjust driving speeds if necessary to help reduce the chance of impact of
an animal collision.
that many accidents are not due to colliding with wildlife but are the
result of driving into another car or truck in the opposite lane while
trying to avoid colliding with the animal.
- Herd animals such as
deer and elk travel in groups. If you see one deer, there is a strong
likelihood that others may be nearby or in other locations along the road.
- Use your vehicle’s high
beams at night to view the roadway ahead when there is no oncoming
What to do
you if you hit an animal:
Don’t try to
swerve to avoid hitting an animal because you could lose control and hit a tree
or veer into oncoming traffic. If you swerve and hit another object, your
insurance carrier may not cover the damages to your vehicle. If you do hit an
possible, move your vehicle to a safe place and turn on your hazard
you can't move your car, or the animal carcass is blocking traffic, alert
the authorities so they can clear the roadway.
the incident by taking photos of your vehicle damage, the roadway and any
injuries sustained. These accidents often occur at night and in remote
areas with limited cellphone service, so it is important to gather as much
information before leaving the scene. This will also help adjusters review
the extent of the damage.
to see if your vehicle is safe to operate. Check for leaking fluid,
damaged lights, loose parts, or other safety hazards. When in doubt, call
a tow truck.
your insurance carrier to file a claim.
encourages everyone to visit its website at https://doi.nv.gov/Consumers/Automobile-Insurance/
for more information about auto insurance including a Consumer’s Guide to Auto
Insurance Rates that can help when shopping for auto insurance.
including the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) and Nevada Department of
Transportation (NDOT), have worked together on projects across the state to
help reduce vehicle-animal collisions, improving safety for drivers on state
roadways and migrating wildlife. NDOT has installed wildlife/livestock fencing
on numerous interstates and highways. Agencies have partnered to strategically
install wildlife crossing across the state, including nine crossings on I-80
and U.S. 93 north of Wells in northeastern Nevada to reduce potentially
dangerous vehicle-animal collisions. Such crossing structures with fencing can reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions
by as much as 95 percent, saving both human injury and property damage that
cost American taxpayers over $8 billion annually.
About the Nevada Division of Insurance
The State of
Nevada Division of Insurance, a Division of the Nevada Department of Business
and Industry, protects the rights of Nevada consumers and regulates Nevada’s
$18 billion insurance industry. The Division of Insurance has offices in Carson
City and Las Vegas. In 2020, the Division investigated more than 2,300 consumer
complaints, answered over 10,000 inquiries, and recovered over $4.5 million on
behalf of consumers. For more information about the Division of Insurance,