Deer v. car dangers

By Keith Boles - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -Car versus deer crashes cost drivers nationwide more than a Billion dollars a year. And more than a Hundred and Fifty people die yearly in those crashes.

Right now is prime deer hunting season in Region 8. Many of you or someone you know is heading to the deer woods to bring home that trophy buck.

Now is also the time that drivers need to be aware that deer are moving, many times into the path of a vehicle. 

A dead deer lying alongside a road is a common sight this time of year.

Simply because the deer are moving a lot more than normal because the rut's kicking in.

Shaun Merrell is the Director of the Crowley's Ridge Nature Center he is also an avid deer hunter.

 "The bucks are looking for dates, they're looking for the does and here in our area, in North East Arkansas last year's data shows that the peak of the rut is from November 12 to November 21st.

"Some drivers already know to take it slow during the fall. But the sudden appearance of a deer dashing in front of a car can be frightening.

 And bad as it sounds you really might be better off to hit the deer rather than swerve to avoid it.

 Merrell, "Statistics show that injury is far less when you collide with a deer than if you try to avoid it. and jerk the car wheel over." 

So am I breaking the law if I hit a deer? For one thing it's not your fault. But you do need to notify your local law enforcement. There's a form you're going to have to fill out. And if you don't want the deer They'll take it off your hands and see that someone who needs it gets the meat. And it doesn't count against your bag limit.
Sometimes crashing into a deer can do minor damage or it can get expensive. Ricky  Mashburn the owner of the Wreck Doctor body shop had a Nissan pickup in his shop that had deer damage to the front corner. Mashburn says estimates vary a lot.
"You know we've had them you can have them anywhere from 2 thousand to 4 thousand. I would say this one here is probably in that range."
Ricky says he has seen some expensive estimates on cars that have hit deer.
"They can go up to 10 thousand dollars just a deer and car accident."
Or even total your car.
Right now the deer are going to be more active in the morning or late evening hours since they may possibly be searching for food as well as avoiding hunters.
You just need to keep your eyes open.

 Merrell, " And if you see one deer as you're driving along the highway, generally there's probably another one right behind it so be very careful."

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