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Deer safety on the roads

BRISTOL, Ind.—Debris litters the toll road at mile marker 103- the only remnants of one of the deadliest deer related accidents on the Indiana Toll Road.

It’s hard to imagine that this devastating collision began because of a deer
 
We see them almost everyday, wandering the streets in rural communities. But, they’re unpredictable behavior is one of the leading causes of car accidents in America.
 
According to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources deer related car accidents account for 8 percent of the total car accidents in the state of Indiana- that’s approximately 16,000 accidents per year.
 
“Of that 16,000, 97 percent are property damage only. Which means a very small percentage of those accidents actually cause personal injury or death,” said Jerry Hoerdt, a Conservation Officer for the Department of Natural Resources.
 
However, according to the DNR’s statistics, 50 percent of the deer related accidents each year occur between October and December.
 
“This time of year, the deer are in their breeding season and the farmers are getting their crops harvested so that is bringing more deer out,” said Hoerdt.
 
How can you avoid a deer related accident?
The DNR has a few helpful tips to try and prevent a deadly accident.
 
1.       Scan the road on each side while driving. Focus your eyes as far ahead as you can.
2.       Use your high beams whenever possible. This will allow you to better see some of the deer hiding on the side of the road in woods and bushes.
3.       Deer are more likely to be on the edges of woods and fields.
4.       Slow down!
5.       Keep a safe following distance behind the car in front of you to prevent collisions.
6.       If you think you are going to hit the deer, hit it. Statistically speaking, you are less likely to sustain injury if you hit the deer than if you try to swerve and avoid it. By swerving, you are more likely to roll your vehicle, hit another car, or possibly hit another deer (deer travel in packs).

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