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In many parts of the United States, the fall season brings cooler temperatures, changing colors, and thoughts of football. Fall also brings an increase in the number of crashes with deer.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), fall brings a sharp rise in insurance claims related to collisions with animals, mainly deer, in many parts of the country. Animal-strike claims peak in November and then drop off in December and January. The high claim period coincides with deer mating season when bucks are on the prowl.

Crashes with deer and other animals occur most frequently in rural areas, on roads with 55 mph or higher speed limits, and in darkness or at dusk or dawn.

From 2007 – 2016, the states with the highest numbers of deer-related crash deaths are:
• Texas – 187
• Wisconsin – 123
• Michigan – 99
• Pennsylvania – 98
• Minnesota – 65
• Ohio – 65

From 1975 to the mid-2000s there was a general upward trend in deaths from collisions with animals, but this trend has leveled off in the past few years. These deaths increased from 89 in 1975 to 223 in 2007 and then declined to 189 in 2016, the last year for which data is available.

Driving too fast for conditions, overdriving headlights, and not being alert for the presence of animals are the primary mistakes linked to animal-related collisions. Highway safety experts say the best ways to avoid collisions with deer and other animals on the roadway is to slow down at night and be vigilant at all times to the possible presence of animals, especially in areas where animal warning signs are posted. All drivers need to be especially alert for animals on the roadways during dusk and dawn and hours of darkness.

Download this poster to help remind others of the importance of being alert for animals!

  • Categorized in:
  • Transportation Safety
  • Driving Techniques
  • Seasonal Driving Tips
  • Injury Prevention