4 ways to avoid crashing into deer this fall
Pennsylvania motorists are most likely to be involved in a deer-related crash now through December, according to Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman and Acting State Police Commissioner Lt. Colonel Robert Evanchick.
Total crashes, injuries and fatalities resulting from these crashes rose in 2017, according to the PA Environment Digest, which reported on the deer crash data.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission offers the following tips for motorists to avoid deer-related crashes:
1. Don’t count on deer whistles or deer fences to deter deer from crossing roads in front of you. Stay alert.
2. Watch for the reflection of deer eyes and for deer silhouettes on the shoulder of the road. If anything looks slightly suspicious, slow down.
3. Slow down in areas known to have a large deer population and where deer-crossing signs are posted. Deer are prevalent in areas where roads divide agricultural fields from woods and in forested areas between dusk and dawn.
4. Deer do unpredictable things: Sometimes they stop in the middle of the road when crossing or cross and quickly re-cross back from where they came. Sometimes they move toward an approaching vehicle. Assume nothing. Slow down. Blow your horn to urge the deer to leave the road. Stop if the deer stays on the road; don’t try to go around it.
October, November and December have the highest rates of accidents involving deer in Pennsylvania, mostly because of deer mating season and the end of daylight saving time.
“Figures compiled by State Farm Insurance show Pennsylvania drivers had a 1-in-63 chance of a deer-related crash from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018, the same as the prior 12 months, and the third-highest rate in the country,” according to PA Environment Digest.
Fatal deer-related crashes occurred in 14 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties last year. According to PennDOT, these include Berks (1 fatality), Blair (2), Bradford (2), Bucks (1), Carbon (1), Chester (1), Clearfield (1), Erie (1), Fulton (1), Philadelphia (1), Pike (1), Somerset (1), Westmoreland (2), and York (1).
Dawn and dusk are the peak times for deer activity.
To report a dead deer for removal from state-maintained roads, motorists can call the state Department of Transportation at 1-800-FIX-ROAD.