Deer-Related Wrecks on the Rise

By: Tim Elliott Email
By: Tim Elliott Email

The nation's largest auto insurer estimates there are 2.4 million collisions between deer and vehicles in the U.S. every year.

Here in Alabama, those accidents are on the rise.

State farm insurance says from 2007 to 2009, Alabama saw a 16% increase of deer-related wrecks.

Wildlife officials say between October and December expect to see lots of deer out on the roads.

The temperature outside is starting to drop, putting deer on the move.

“They know that the season is changing it's going to be getting colder so they know they got to start storing up fat on their body,"

Phillip Carter works in Forestry, Wildlife and Natural Resources with the Houston County Extension Office.

He says as food becomes less available, deer begin to migrate in search of more, putting motorists at risk.

“If there's less food in one particular area they may have to forage more,”

On Monday, 54-year-old Danny Ezell was traveling west on Coffee County Road 636 when a deer darted out in front of his motorcycle.

The Andalusia native was killed in the accident.

"It really hurts to see somebody that loses their life like that over a deer ya know it's just sudden it's tragic,"

According to the insurance institute for highway safety, deer vehicle collisions in the U.S. cause more than 150 fatalities every year.

"There's been a lot of people killed because they try to miss the deer and they brake real hard and lose control or they may go into another lane and have a head on collision with another car,"

According to State Farm Insurance, the average property damage cost in a deer-related wreck is $3,050.

That's up 3.4% from a year ago.

Carter says most of these accidents take place at dusk and at dawn.

“The biggest thing you can do is just slow down and be alert,”

Officials say deer are most active right now during migration season but they're also out and about during mating season which begins in January and lasts until March.

The best advice to avoid a deer on the roads/; be alert, go the speed limit, buckle up and obey all traffic laws.

For the third straight year, studies show West Virginia the state where you are most likely to hit a deer.

Hawaii is the least likely.

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