Motorists are being warned to reduce their speed this fall as deer encounters on the road become more prevalent during deer mating season.
It is important to slow down while driving. Striking a deer is "covered under comprehensive and is a non-chargeable offense on your (auto) insurance," he said. "If you swerve and you miss the deer but you hit a telephone pole or the guard rail, that's a collision claim," Recchione said.
About two years ago, a deer ran into the side of Recchione's truck while he was traveling on
"The deer I hit in
He's seen vehicles damaged by deer hitting the body of the car, some that went through the windshield, a side window and even one that rolled into a sunroof. Other drivers hit multiple deer during one accident, he said.
The insurance company recently released its 2016 annual deer collision stats and data at https://newsroom.statefarm.com/state-farm-releases-2016-deer-collision-data.
Here are key details:
November is the worst month for crashes. October is the second. Nationally, the average is 1-in-164 chance of a deer collision. It was 1 in 169 in the last study.
The average property damage claim runs
There were 1.3 million deer claims reported to
"The likelihood of colliding with a large animal more than doubles during the months of October, November and December, during deer mating season. Whether you hit a large animal or it jumps into the side of your vehicle, such collisions can cause significant injuries and property damage. No matter where you live, it's important to keep your eyes up and focus on the road, helping you take action in the event a large animal is suddenly in your path," the
"We know there is an increased risk of collision with deer around dawn and dusk, and also during the October-December breeding season,"
"If you have time, blow your horn. A deer may not be able to judge your approach by sight but may be able to with its hearing. This goes for squirrels as well," she said.
Hentz said she's heard mixed results and opinions about the use of devices, such as deer whistles, which are placed on the outside of the car. Air moving through the devices are supposed to produce ultrasound or other high-frequency sound waves, intended to warn deer of a vehicle's approach.
Hentz said it's important what drivers do after a deer is struck. A hands-off approach from the public is best, she said.
"Do not approach or try to aid the deer. Do not attempt to transport it for medical help. Once past the young fawn age, deer do not respond well to confinement or attempts at rehabilitation," she said. "If you attempt to transport it, it can suffer 'capture myopathy' (shock and heart attack from being confined) or may attempt to flee -- injuring itself or the people involved. It may seem like the compassionate thing to do, but it's not safe or beneficial to the deer."
"If it is alive but injured, call the
From what Hentz has seen, there are some corridors in the county which are known for having deer around them, but during this time of year, anywhere can pose a hazard.
According to PennDOT data from 2010 to 2014, there were 37 deer struck in 2014, resulting in 6 injuries and no fatalities; that's down from a high of 56 deer strikes in 2013 and a high of 13 injuries recorded in 2010. There were no fatalities reported during those years. Over those five years of records, there were 233 deer strike crashes and 40 injuries. PennDOT also keeps track of what's called "deer-related" crashes during that same 2010 to 2014 time frame. That means a deer may have jumped out, and the driver hit something else as a result of trying to avoid the deer like a tree, utility pole or guide rail. The highest number of deer-related crashes were 82 in 2010 and 31 total injuries, with no fatalities. By 2014, the number of deer-related crashes had dropped to 54, with 15 injuries. The total number of deer-related crashes in
Statewide from 2010 to 2014, there were 16,790 deer strike accidents, resulting in 3,201 injuries and 45 fatalities. There were 24,136 deer-related crashes; 6,662 injuries; and 60 fatalities during that same time period.
PennDOT offers the following website for tips on autumn driving, including staying alert to deer at www.penndot.gov/TravelInPA/Safety/TrafficSafetyAndDriverTopics/Pages/Fall-Driving.aspx.
"Deer warning signs are posted at locations identified by the
According to the PennDOT website, "Other factors that affect the travel patterns of deer in the fall are farmers actively harvesting the last of their crops and preparing for spring planting, increased activity in the woods from hunters seeking game and outdoor enthusiasts enjoying the last remaining days of good weather."
If a dead deer presents an obvious safety hazard on state roadways, motorists can call 800-FIX-ROAD to have the deer removed.
Some other tips
--Slow down, particularly at dusk and dawn.
--If you see one deer, be prepared for more deer to cross the road.
--Pay attention to deer crossing signs.
--Always buckle up, every trip, every time.
--Use your high beams to see farther, except when there is oncoming traffic.
--Brake if you can, but avoid swerving, which could result in a more severe crash.
--Remain focused on the road, scanning for hazards, including animals.
--Avoid distractions, like devices or eating, which might cause you to miss seeing an animal.
--Do not rely on products such as deer whistles, which are not proven effective.
--If riding a motorcycle, always wear protective gear and keep focus on the road ahead.
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