Tree stand, ATV safety important

TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) - Gun safety announcements are common at the start of each deer season in Arkansas. This year, officials are trying to broaden the message.

Tree stands, all-terrain vehicles and running deer can all bring about catastrophic accidents.

Officials have placed an emphasis on making sure young riders on ATVs follow safety rules. But adults can prevent dangerous situations by following the rules themselves.

Also, vehicle crashes involving deer have been rising nationally. The Highway Loss Data Institute in a recent report found that 223 people died in animal-vehicle crashes last year, up from 150 in 2000 and 101 in 1993. There are about 1.5 million deer-vehicle accidents in the country each year.

Arkansas ranks fifth in the nation in deer-vehicle crashes, with drivers facing a 1-in-108 chance of hitting a deer. Kennemore said there are about 1 million deer in Arkansas.

Safety officials say most of the accidents occur in October, November and December, when deer are mating.

Information from: Texarkana Gazette,

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