Peak deer-car collision season nears

Fall is officially here and AAA is warning drivers to be more cautious on the roads. Deer mating season is right around the corner and October, November and December are the months of the year for the most motor vehicle collisions with animals. A collision with a deer or other animal can put a serious dent in a vehicle, if not destroy it completely, and could result in serious injuries or fatalities.

“Animal-vehicle collisions start to increase in October and peak in mid-November,” said Kara Hitchens, AAA spokesperson. “For that reason, motorists need to be even more cautious and alert behind the wheel, especially at dawn and dusk, which can be the times for high levels of deer activity.”

According to 2018 data from the Ohio Department of Transportation, there were 18,302 deer collision crashes reported in Ohio with the majority of crashes occurring during the months of October, November and December. There were 234 deer strikes in Fulton, while Wood led the way in Northwest Ohio with 414 and Williams County saw 408.

Although striking a deer during this season is common, drivers swerving—in an attempt to miss the deer—is another very common cause for crashes. This can be a fatal mistake because the driver may hit an oncoming motorist head-on.

“Deer and other animals can be unpredictable and might dash out in front of your vehicle. But there are actions you can take to help prevent a crash or reduce the damage from an animal collision,” said Hitchens. “First and foremost, drivers and passengers should always wear a seat belt and take steps to avoid distractions behind the wheel.”

In the event of a collision with an animal, AAA recommends that drivers:

– Following the collision, call the police.

– Avoid making contact with the deer/animal. A frightened or wounded animal can be dangerous and pose a threat when approached or might further injure itself.

– Activate the vehicle’s hazard lights whether it’s light or dark outside.

– If possible, move the vehicle to a safe location, out of the roadway, and wait for help to arrive.