An insurance industry group called the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) has found that deer related accidents are most frequent in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Iowa.
The HLDI study showed that each year there are approximately 1.3 million deer related vehicle accidents in the United States. These accidents have led to 150 deaths and thousands of injuries. They have also stated that the accident claims are becoming more expensive throughout the years which means the accidents are more severe.
With the country’s ever growing deer population, there doesn’t seem to be any sign of a decrease in deer related accidents. Back in the 1900’s a report from Cornell University showed there were approximately 500,000 white-tailed deer in the U.S. By the 2000’s that number grew to 20 million. The growth is likely due to environmental changes, population shifts and stricter limitations on hunting.
Drivers need to be very cautious during these months. Other factors such as snow and darker commutes make it harder for drivers to see deer. To see how you can stay safe during the time change, visit our previous blog post here.
Sometimes hitting a deer is unavoidable. You should never swerve into oncoming traffic to avoid hitting a deer. After an accident, inspect your vehicle and make sure it is safe to drive. If you want an incident report, contact local authorities right away. Some insurance companies will need this if you plan on making a claim for the damages done to your vehicle. Overall, drivers need to reduce their speed and avoid all distractions while driving.
The Atlantic City Lab, “It’s Deer-Collision Season”