October 24, 2006
Drivers beware! The annual deer mating season has begun and you know what that means: more deer on the roadways and more accidents.
Deer mating season is often a fatal attraction. More than 500,000 deer die annually in the United States this time of year and in rare cases, deer\car crashes will take a human life.
“The worst accidents we have seen [are] when a deer enters the windshield of a vehicle and it rarely happens, but it does happen,” said Albemarle County Police Officer Robert McCormick.
Albemarle County Police don't recall any fatalities in the area, but they urge drivers to use caution now through December.
“If you see a deer in the roadway, try to slow down and stay in your lane. You don't want to cross the center line and hit another vehicle,” said McCormick.
Steering to avoid the deer can get you into more trouble.
“A third of all the fatality accidents nationwide are caused by vehicles that leave the roadway and strike a tree a pole or an embankment. So we don't want to leave the roadway to avoid a deer,” said McCormick.
Police say hitting the deer is a better option, but can also be a costly one. State Farm Insurance says on average, you'll pay $2,800 to fix the damage.
It's estimated 1.5 million drivers will hit a deer this year. The worst states for auto-deer collisions are Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Illinois, while Virginia ranks sixth.