When hitting a deer at 60 mph, the potential for significant damage to both the vehicle and the occupants increases. The impact force at this speed can cause extensive damage to the front end of the vehicle, including the bumper, grille, headlights, and other components.

Additionally, there is a higher risk of injury to the occupants due to the high speed of the collision.

Note that if you have been involved in a collision with a deer at 60 mph or any other speed, it is recommended to contact your insurance provider and report the incident. They can provide guidance on the necessary steps to take, including assessing the damage and arranging for repairs if needed. 

Additionally, it’s important to seek any necessary medical attention for yourself or passengers if injuries have occurred.

Consequences of Hitting A Deer At 60 Mph

Potential Vehicle Damage

Hitting a deer at 60 mph can result in significant vehicle damage. At this speed, the impact is forceful, and the potential consequences can be severe. Here are some of the potential vehicle damage outcomes when hitting a deer at 60 mph:

Front-End Damage: 

The front of your vehicle will likely sustain substantial damage. This can include damage to the grille, headlights, hood, and front bumper. The force of the impact may also affect the engine and other vital components.

Windshield Damage: 

The deer may impact the windshield, causing it to crack or shatter. This can obstruct your vision and make the vehicle unsafe to drive.

Airbag Deployment: 

The collision may be severe enough to trigger the deployment of airbags, which can add to the repair costs.

Frame Damage: 

At such high speeds, the impact can potentially cause damage to the vehicle’s frame, which can be expensive to repair and may even render the vehicle a total loss.

Fluid Leaks: 

The impact can rupture fluid lines, leading to leaks of engine coolant, transmission fluid, or other fluids, which can further complicate the repair process.

Structural Damage:

The structural integrity of the vehicle may be compromised, affecting its safety in future accidents.

Total Loss: 

Depending on the extent of the damage and the age and value of the vehicle, hitting a deer at 60 mph can result in the vehicle being declared a total loss by your insurance company.

Potential Injuries to Occupants

Hitting a deer at 60 mph can lead to a range of potential injuries to the car occupants due to the force of the impact. 

The severity of these injuries can vary based on factors like the type of vehicle, the angle of the collision, and whether safety precautions like seatbelts and airbags are in use. 

Here are some potential injuries car occupants may sustain:

Whiplash: 

A sudden, high-speed collision can cause the occupants’ heads to jerk forward and backward rapidly, resulting in whiplash injuries to the neck and upper spine.

Head Injuries: 

Head injuries, including concussions or more severe traumatic brain injuries, can occur if the occupants’ heads make contact with the steering wheel, dashboard, or windows upon impact.

Chest and Rib Injuries: 

The force of the collision can cause chest and rib injuries if the occupants are pushed against the seatbelt or other parts of the vehicle’s interior.

Abdominal Injuries: 

Impact-related injuries to the abdomen, such as bruising, contusions, or even internal injuries, can occur if the occupants are forcefully pressed against their seatbelts.

Extremity Injuries: 

Occupants may experience injuries to their arms, legs, or extremities if they hit hard surfaces inside the vehicle during the collision.

Airbag-Related Injuries: 

While airbags are designed to reduce injuries, they can cause abrasions, burns, or even fractures upon deployment due to their explosive force.

Secondary Injuries: 

After the initial impact, secondary injuries can occur if the vehicle veers off the road, rolls over, or collides with other objects.

Psychological Trauma: 

Being involved in a high-speed collision with a deer can lead to psychological trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can affect the mental well-being of the occupants.

It’s essential for occupants to always wear seatbelts, as they significantly reduce the risk of injury in a collision. 

Additionally, vehicles equipped with advanced safety features such as side-impact airbags and crumple zones can provide additional protection.

In any collision, especially one as severe as hitting a deer at 60 mph, it’s crucial to seek medical attention promptly, even if injuries seem minor at first. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and a medical evaluation can ensure that any hidden injuries are identified and treated promptly.

Injury or Death of Deer

Hitting a deer at 60 mph can have devastating consequences for the deer. 

The outcome for the deer largely depends on the point of impact, the size of the deer, and the type of vehicle involved. Here are the potential scenarios for what happens to the deer:

Fatal Impact: 

In most cases, a collision with a vehicle traveling at 60 mph is fatal for the deer. The impact is forceful enough to cause severe internal injuries, broken bones, and extensive trauma, leading to the deer’s immediate death or euthanasia if it survives briefly.

Immediate Death: 

If the deer is struck directly by the vehicle, it may die instantly due to the force of the collision. This is particularly true if the vehicle strikes the deer in a vital area, such as the head or chest.

Injury and Evasion: 

In some instances, the deer may be injured but not killed outright. Injured deer may try to escape, but their injuries often make it difficult for them to move far, and they may collapse nearby.

Euthanasia: 

In cases where the deer is severely injured but not killed by the impact, authorities or wildlife professionals may need to euthanize the animal to prevent further suffering.

Secondary Collisions: 

After being struck by the initial vehicle, the deer may pose a hazard to other vehicles on the road. It can be hit by subsequent vehicles, further increasing its injuries or causing additional accidents.

What To Do After Hitting A Deer At 60 Mph

Hitting a deer at 60 mph can be a traumatic experience, and it’s essential to take specific steps to ensure safety and address the situation properly. 

Here’s what to do after hitting a deer at such a high speed:

Ensure Safety: 

Your first priority is the safety of yourself and any passengers in your vehicle. If you are able to do so safely, pull over to the side of the road, away from traffic, and turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers.

Check for Injuries: 

Assess yourself and any passengers for injuries. If anyone is injured, call 911 or the local emergency number immediately for medical assistance. Do not attempt to move anyone who appears seriously injured unless they are in immediate danger.

Contact the Authorities: 

Report the incident to the local police or relevant authorities. They will document the accident and may need to take additional steps, such as dispatching an officer to the scene.

Document the Scene: 

If it is safe to do so, take pictures of the accident scene, including the damage to your vehicle, the position of the deer, and any relevant road signs or landmarks. This documentation can be useful for insurance claims.

Assess Vehicle Damage: 

Examine your vehicle for damage. At 60 mph, there may be extensive damage to the front end of your vehicle, including the grille, bumper, headlights, hood, and possibly the engine. Make a note of the damage.

Contact Your Insurance Company: 

Report the incident to your insurance company as soon as possible. They will guide you through the claims process and provide instructions for getting your vehicle repaired.

Do Not Approach the Deer: 

Do not approach the deer, especially if it is still alive but injured. Injured animals can be unpredictable and may pose a danger if they feel threatened. Leave this to the authorities or wildlife professionals to handle.

Follow Authorities’ Instructions: 

If the authorities or wildlife officials arrive at the scene, follow their instructions. They may need to address the injured deer or assess the situation further.

Arrange for Towing or Repairs: 

Depending on the extent of the damage to your vehicle, you may need to arrange for towing to a repair facility. Your insurance company can assist with this process.

Seek Medical Attention: 

Even if you and your passengers initially appear unharmed, it’s a good idea to seek a medical evaluation after such a high-speed collision. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent.

Conclusion

Remember that hitting a deer at 60 mph can be emotionally and physically challenging, so it’s essential to remain calm and follow these steps to ensure the safety of everyone involved and to handle the situation effectively.