Deer Vs. Cars

Last fall, Washington County reported 125 crashes involving deer. Nearly two-thirds of those collisions happened in November.

Car-deer collisions can happen at any time of the year, but law enforcement and wildlife officials agree, deer are the most numerous when the leaves change color.

"They're starting to move around a little bit more, as the mating season comes around, and the weather starts to cool down," says Dave Greenwood, forestry expert for the Wayne National Forest. "They start moving around for feeding areas, and it's more comfortable for them."

And while most accidents don't result in injuries to drivers, Sgt. Mike Harmon of the Ohio Highway Patrol's Marietta post says there are some exceptions.

"They can be fatal," says Sgt. Harmon, "because last year we had several where people would strike a deer, and for some reason they would end up driving off the roadway, and in some instances roll over. So, they can result in serious injury and even death."

Car-deer accidents don't just happen on rural highways. And, they can happen at times of the day when it’s hard to see deer along the highway.

"The chances of them crossing the roadway increases this time of the year," says Sgt. Harmon. "Just be observant, and aware it could happen to you. As always, watch your speed and be prepared."

Troopers recommend calling law enforcement at first opportunity, to report a car-deer accident.

In Ohio, state highway officials are responsible for removing deer struck in an accident from the side of the roadway.


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