Conn. (WTNH) — It’s called ‘rutting season,’ that’s when the deer get out and mate. They are very active in the fall, out and about mingling with each other, and traffic. This makes it more likely you could hit one with your car, and body shops already know they can do a lot of damage if that happens.
Doug Fernandez with Turnpike Motors Auto Body told News 8, “One that just came in was a deer hit. We’ve had a couple of turkey hits, one guy went through [and] almost hit a chicken; that’s a new one.”
At Turnpike Motors they started seeing deer collisions ramping up over the last month.
Fernandez said, “Everything is a little bit later. We usually see this type of activity earlier, but because it’s been warm and now it’s getting cold you’re seeing a lot of movement with the animals.”
Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) biologists say there are several reasons why deer are more dangerous this time of year. They are more frisky and energetic and are paying less attention to the road. And deer are more active at sunrise and sunset. With Daylight Saving Time, the sun is going down during rush hour.
Fernandez added, “With a deer hit, you hit it in the headlight area. If you hit the hind quarter it will spin around and roll down the whole side of the vehicle which does a lot more damage.”
And it’s not just deer, turkeys blend in with the roadside brush and fly right at windshield level. They can do a lot of damage to a vehicle, too. They are even seeing bear strikes. Add these accidents on top of the regular workload and supply chain issues with parts, body shops are backed up for weeks if not months.
“If you have an accident right now it is a challenge,” Fernandez explained. “You probably want to take the first appointment you can get because they are hard to come by.”
Even a little bit of damage to the front end can be incredibly expensive to fix, Fernandez told News 8. That’s because there is a lot of technology in the front portion of these vehicles. Everything from the side mirrors to the side panels holds sensors for lane assist to blindspot detection, even cruise control. All of that can get knocked out of whack and a simple hit by deer.
“We have one here that will probably be somewhere between eight and $9,000, a late model car with some technology on it, damage to a few panels headlights are very expensive the way they are made now,” Fernandez said.
It can be very frustrating, but you can get out ahead of it. If you find a body shop now that you wanna work with, you’ll be ready with a plan for action if you strike a deer.