Deer Collision Season
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety there are an estimated 1.5 million deer-vehicle collisions annually in the United States, causing more than 150 fatalities and $1.1 billion in property damage.
These collisions become more frequent during the fall and winter due to the deer migration and mating season. This season usually occurs from October through December. Coupled with the facts that deer populations are growing and deer habitat is being displaced by urban sprawl makes for a deadly combination for both deer and motorists.
Certain states experience more collisions with deer than others. The states with the highest number of accidents involving deer are:
The top ten ranked deer collision states account for 51% of all deer collision claims. Drivers in these states, and all others, can avoid becoming involved in one of these costly and potentially deadly deer-vehicle collisions that take place across the United States each year by taking a number of precautions.
There are a number of precautions motorists can take to help prevent accidents with deer. Drivers wishing to avoid vehicle-deer collisions should:
•Be aware of posted deer crossing signs. These signs are placed in known active deer crossing areas.
•Be aware that deer are most active during the evening, between 6 and 9 p.m.
•At night, use high-beam headlamps as much as possible to illuminate the sides of the road where deer can linger.
•Be aware that deer often move in packs – if you see one deer, there is a good chance several more are just a few yards behind.
•Do not rely on car-mounted “deer whistles.” Studies have shown deer are not affected by this deterrence method.
•If a collision with a deer seems inevitable, it may be best not to swerve. The risk of personal injury is greatly increased by swerving, which can place you in the path of oncoming vehicles or may cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
While research has revealed several innovative ways to deter deer from entering the roadways and alerting drivers to the dangers of deer in the area, there will always remain a constant danger of deer-vehicle collisions. Undoubtedly, the best way to avoid deer-vehicle collisions is through attentive driving behavior.
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