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Is It Illegal To Hit A Deer And Drive Off?


This incident of hitting a deer while driving along the road occurred to many drivers within the United States, especially during the deer’s breeding season. That begs the question: What does a driver have to, by law and ethically, do immediately following an accident of such nature? This article looks into all the complex aspects of deer collision—from legal obligations to safety and prevention of the event.

Is It Illegal To Hit A Deer And Drive Off

  1. Understanding the Legal Landscape

But is it illegal to hit a deer and drive off? It is not generally thought to be legal to drive after hitting a deer and continue driving without stopping the vehicle, except for in cases where the accident causes damage to property or personal injury. However, such an unchangeable fact of life certainly does not relieve drivers of the responsibilities that accompany this kind of occurrence. Many states have specific statutes on the books that require drivers to report collisions with animals, so it’s a good idea for motorists to have a working knowledge of the local laws in the areas they travel.

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  1. State-Specific Laws and Requirements

What is required of one after colliding with a deer differs by the state. Like the Michigan law, it allows a driver to leave without checking on the condition of the deer or removing it from the road but requires reporting to the authorities. This is a common stipulation in many states and one that you should be particularly aware of within your location.

  1. Reporting the Incident: Why It Matters

There are several compelling reasons to report a collision with a deer. Reporting will help in not only clearing the deer’s carcass from the road to stop possible accidents but will assist in the processing of insurance claims since there will be an official record of the accident. It will also help to collect state data on deer collisions which can also go a long way in the help of planning for future safety and wildlife management strategies.

  1. Safety and Ethical Considerations

Lastly, leaving a deer carcass on the road is another safety hazard to other motorists when the carcass is left on the roadside, specifically where the speed is high or vision is low for limits of speed. Ethically, it behooves the consideration of the animal and public safety. By reporting the incident, drivers ensure that appropriate actions are taken to address these concerns.

  1. Preventing Deer Collisions

You’re not going to be able to avoid deer collisions every time, but there are things you can do to minimize risk. Being very alert regarding the location where there are high deer populations and particular areas that characterize breeding can do a lot. Use high beams during the night, but only if no oncoming vehicles are there, as they will be spotted easily. If a deer comes in view, brake, and do not swive because accidents or how bad they will be can be avoided.


Compliance with the law, safety, and prevention comes ahead of such a disaster as a deer-vehicle collision. Reporting is advised for responsible handling. Be equipped for that inevitable road scenario.


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