The reports dot the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department daily log this time of year. Car struck deer. Truck hit deer. Deer ran into car.
Autumn and early winter is the peak season for deer-related crashes, and motorists should drive defensively, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources warns.
“Nearly 50 percent of all vehicle accidents involving white-tailed deer occur between October and December, with November by far the worst month,” said Chad Stewart, a DNR deer research biologist.
With their breeding season approaching, deer become more active in the fall, Stewart said. That often leads them to crossing roads more often, increasing the odds for a collision with a passing motorist.
An increase in deer population, particularly in some areas, also contributes to the problem.
Indiana Crash Facts, an annual report compiled by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, Center for Criminal Justice Research and the IUPUI School of Public & Environmental Affairs, reported 15,205 deer-related collisions in 2011. That’s a lot of wrecks, but it’s also 4.9 percent fewer than were reported in 2010.
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