It’s the middle of the night. After a long drive home, a family has almost arrived at their destination. They are ready to crash for the evening and have a good night’s sleep. The only problem is that fate has a different kind of crash waiting for them. Deer car accidents happen frequently and tend to occur in the early morning or late evening hours. This is because it is more difficult to see these animals on the road at this time and the animals are more likely to be active at this time.
Statistics on Deer Car Accidents
1. There are about 1.5 million car accidents with deer each year.
2. The estimated cost of deer car accidents exceeds $1 billion annually.
3. The number of human fatalities that occur from deer car accidents every year: an average of 150.
4. There are an average of 10,000 personal injuries that happen from deer car accidents every year.
5. 70% of the worst states for car deer collisions, based on the number of insurance claims that are filed, come from the US Midwest.
6. 26% of the animals killed each year in collisions with vehicles on freeways and country roads are large animals like deer.
7. The most common species of deer that are involved in these collisions are white-tailed deer.
8. An estimated $400 million out of the $1 billion in costs annually comes from accidents that occur in Pennsylvania, the #1 state of deer car accidents.
9. Deer whistles may cost up to $25 and there is no documented evidence that they alert deer to a car’s presence or cause them to move.
10. The majority of these accidents occur between October and December, but they can happen at any time of year.
11. Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, and Ohio have been in the top ten states for fatal deer collisions every year insurance claims for the subject have been tracked.
12. The leading cause of accidents, injuries, and deaths from deer-related accidents is when vehicles swerve.
13. It is important to pay special attention during the 6pm and 9pm window as this is when a majority of the deer car accidents occur.
14. The average claim for deer-vehicle collisions between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012 was $3,305.
15. The amount claims have risen for deer car accidents in the past year: 4.4%.
16. Over the last 4 years, the number of deer-related claims paid out by insurance agencies increased 7.9 percent.
17. Other vehicle claims for insurance reimbursement for all other causes of damage decreased in the same period by 8.6%.
18. The number of fatal crashes with deer and other animals has more than doubled in the past 15 years.
19. Most deer car accidents occur during the months of October, November and December.
20. Even when pursued by a hunter or other predator, a deer will rarely leave its home territory.
21. It is mating season, not hunting season, that typically causes the most deer to be out on roadways.
Ways to Avoid Accidents
The best advice to avoid one of these accidents is to be as attentive as possible while driving. Slowing down while approaching areas where deer may be likely can also lead to lower accident rates. If possible, use the high beam headlights so that your vision can be increased and you’ll have a better chance of seeing the deer on the roadway before you wind up hitting it. If you must hit a deer, the best advice is to not try to swerve or slam on your brakes. This may result in having a worse accident than the simple impact may cause.
What is the main contributing factor to a deer car accident? These accidents have been happening for as long as roadways have been built near their habitats. With up to 30 million deer living in North America alone, the chances of finding one in a car’s path are rather high. Although the actual number of accidents is not known because statistics on the subject are not readily captured, we do know that billions of dollars of damage happen to vehicles, lives are lost, and it’s not just the life of the deer that is at risk.
By knowing the statistics of deer car accidents, perhaps your next encounter with one of these animals while driving won’t become another fact for someone to read about.
What About Deer Hunting
Deer hunting does not cause car accidents. On the other hand, deer hunting doesn’t effectively reduce the deer population size either.
Scientists have shown that a male deer will choose to meet with up to 20 different females under captivity conditions. Even in the wild, bucks have been observed with up to eight different does in a single season. This means that if there is an emphasis on hunting for male deer, other bucks just going to take the place of the deer that are removed for the population from hunting.
It’s also important to note that the proactive measures that people may install on their vehicles to prevent deer accidents may not work. They may, in fact, cause more accidents because people assume that the deer whistles and other measures actually work. The best thing to do in a vehicle is to fasten your seat belt. Wearing the seat belt in a deer car accident is the best way to survive it. If you slow down and hold the wheel straight, there’s a good chance that the deer will just get out of your way as you head toward it.
As urban sprawl continues to occur, the chances of having a deer car accident will continue to increase. They can happen at any time of year and at any time of day, but the last three months at dusk and dawn are the most dangerous times year for driving around deer. By being aware of the statistics and driving safely whenever behind the wheel, you can prevent most deer car accidents to make sure that you don’t become another statistic.