Tis’ Deer Season. “Oh Deer!”
It is Deer season, and now is the time to remind drivers of the dangers of animals in the roadway. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates that 1.5 million deer-related accidents occur each year. Three out of four accidents involving animals are deer. Nationally, deer collisions with vehicles cause $1.1 billion in vehicle damage annually, kill 150 people and injure another 29,000 people. Cattle, horses, dogs, and bears also led to fatalities in collisions.
Crashes with deer are most likely to occur in late fall during deer breeding, migration, and hunting season. Accidents with deer are likely to occur on rural roads with a speed limit of 55 mph or higher, in darkness, or at dusk and dawn. In 60% of the accidents involving human fatalities with animal-vehicle collisions, the fatality was caused not by the collision with the deer, but failure to wear a safety belt. The animal-vehicle collision is the first event and often not the deadliest. It is what occurs to the vehicle after the initial collision that is often the cause of the fatality, i.e., striking a fixed object or another vehicle(s).
There is no feasible way to keep deer and other animals off the roadway. Deer whistles have been sold over the years as a way of avoiding deer collisions.However, it is still up to the deer what action is taken after hearing the whistle. This may include standing still in the roadway or running directly at you; therefore, drivers need to always be vigilant and especially in those areas that are prone to animal crossing.