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Oh deer! Tips to avoid a collision this fall

It's mating season for deer and time changes contribute to the increases in crashes during fall and winter months.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Deer hunting season is underway in North Carolina but it's also deer collision season, and the last thing you want is a deer in your headlights. 

AAA of the Carolinas says your chance of running into a deer on the road is way up right now because herds are on the move. Mating season runs through December, which means more deer will be out and about, especially with the upcoming time change. 

AAA says half of all deer-involved crashes in North Carolina happen during mating season. The best thing is to avoid those antlers altogether. AAA says deer are most active between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

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If you see a deer in the road, hit the brakes and use your horn. Do not try to swerve, and if you do hit the deer, try to get your car to a safe location as soon as possible. 

And hitting a deer can be just as destructive and costly as hitting another car. AAA says the average claim for hitting a deer in the Carolinas is around $4,300, and that number is going up. 

New technology, like cameras and windshield sensors, can be pricey to replace. Some insurance plans don't even cover those gadgets, so many drivers end up paying out of pocket after hitting a deer. 

AAA recommends double-checking with your insurance company to make sure you're covered. Otherwise, you'll be asking: "Where's the Money?"

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