By: Shelly Robinson | Category: Automotive | Issue: December 2010
Randy and Liz Pruitt and staff members John Nash, Michael Minton and Jason Linzy stand with a vehicle damaged by a deer hit.
As the days grow short and darkness comes early, Green Country drivers face more danger from vehicle-deer accidents on Oklahoma roads. Recent insurance company reports show over 2.4 million car-deer collisions occur annually in the United States, with over a billion dollars in damages related to these accidents.
Deer migration, mating season and the search for food make deer much more active in the late fall and early winter, leading to an accompanying rise in deer hits during October, November and December.
Randy Pruitt of Pruitt’s Auto Collision in Owasso said he recently repaired three vehicles damaged by deer collisions in just one week. Drivers must take precautions to lessen the chance of hitting a deer, and Randy offers the following ways to keep yourself safe.
• Try to avoid night driving, especially on dark, rural roads.
• Be especially careful when driving through areas with overgrown ditches or heavy vegetation on the roadside.
• Ask your passenger to help watch the sides of the road.
• Slow down and don’t overdrive your headlights. Use high beams whenever possible to light up the sides of the road ahead.
• Always wear your seatbelt and insist your passengers wear theirs.
• Deer travel in herds, so if you see one, there are probably more.
• If a deer collision seems inevitable, don’t swerve out of your lane. Attempting to avoid the deer can lead to losing control of your vehicle or place you in the path of an oncoming vehicle, resulting in a more serious accident.
• If you do collide with a deer, call 911 or *55 and stay in your vehicle. The animal could be stunned and become agitated when approached.
Randy says one of the most common things he hears when customers hit an animal is that the animal “just came out of nowhere,” so he hopes these tips will help raise awareness.
While nobody plans to have a car wreck, accidents will happen and planning ahead can provide peace of mind in a stressful situation. For many people, their automobile is the second largest investment they make, and with today’s modern vehicles, it’s more important than ever to get repairs done right the first time.
Using the right collision shop is key to having your car returned to pre-accident condition. Pruitt’s Auto Collision offers free estimates and front door service. Just pull up under the canopy, and Randy will evaluate the damage and give you a written estimate for parts and labor. There is a Hertz Rent-A-Car on site to make it very convenient to rent a vehicle while yours is being repaired.
Pruitt’s is happy to work with your insurance provider, while at the same time giving the customer final say in repairs. “We are a shop that works for our customers, not the insurance company,” explains Liz Pruitt, co-owner. “If you’ve ever dealt with a shop that is insurance-oriented, you’ll notice an immediate difference.”
Of course, the backbone of any business is the employees. Pruitt’s staff has over 75 years of combined experience in the auto body repair business. Randy has been in the field for over 20 years, is ASE and I-CAR trained, and is certified on the Chief frame machine and PPG paint systems.
Jason Linzy, GM and Ford specialist, brings more than 15 years experience, and John Nash, the Pruitt’s painter, adds an additional 40 years of knowledge to the mix. Michael Minton joined Pruitt’s full time last May and enjoys working in his hometown and with fellow OHS graduates Randy and Liz Pruitt. “We have great employees and we care about doing right by our community,” says Liz. “Having an accident is stressful; getting your car repaired shouldn’t be.”
Pruitt’s Auto Collision is located on the east service road of Highway 169 at 8231 N. Owasso Expressway. Business hours are Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.