Automobile/Deer Collisions On The Rise

May 19, 2005 -- Posted at 10:45 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO -- May and June are peak collision months for auto/deer collisions because that's when deer have their babies.

With the deer population growing, so are the number of collisions between automobiles and deer, estimated at 1.5 million times a year.

That's costing drivers 1 billion dollars in damages according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, but it can also be a deadly encounter.

Greg and Kathy Hill were driving home when a Jeep on the other side of the road hit a deer causing it to fly over the median and through their car windshield......killing Greg.

"We were going 70 mph, so it made the deer like a missile when it hit the car," said Kathy Hill.

There are more deer in North America now then there have ever been--which means more accidents.

So here are a few safety tips to help keep you from becoming a statistic.

Deer are most active in the morning and afternoon, so use extra caution driving at those times.

To frighten the deer away, slow down and blow your car's horn.

If you see one, there are probably more around----so be aware.

Get out of your car, and if possible, call police.

Ongoing research right now is trying to determine if building under passes will reduce collision with animals.

A current study in Virginia, says given the option, animals choose to cross under a busy highway rather than over.