RALEIGH — In order to
help reduce the number of wildlife-related automobile crashes, the N.C.
Department of Transportation reminds motorists to be aware of the increased
presence of deer on state roads during the fall months.
than 19,500 animal-related crashes were reported each of the last three years,
and 90 percent of those involved deer. Since 2009, the incidents have resulted
in 3,498 injuries to people, of which 17 were fatal, and approximately $139.1
million in property damage.
deer are being seen in densely populated areas,” said State Traffic Engineer
Kevin Lacy. “Drivers need to be alert at all times. If you can’t avoid a deer,
it is better to hit it than to lose control of your vehicle and cause a bigger
a crash involving a deer can happen at any time, the majority of deer-vehicle
collisions occur between the months of October and December, when deer activity
increases due to mating and hunting seasons. Crashes are most common during the
hours of 5 p.m. to 7 a.m., when deer movement increases and limited lighting
makes it more difficult for motorists to see them on or near roadways.
2009 and 2011, there were 61,046 animal-related collisions reported throughout
North Carolina. The top five counties for such collisions in 2011 were Wake
(1,105), Duplin (646), Guilford (642), Pitt (623) and Johnston (535). Wake
County has had the most animal-related crashes for the past 11 years.
North Carolina Animal Related Crashes 2009-2011 data and county rankings can be
found on the Connect NCDOT webpage (https://connect.ncdot.gov/resources/safety/Pages/Crash-Data.aspx).
NCDOT has animal crash maps available by county as well (click on Crash
Type: Deer, Crash Description: 2011 By
Time of Year). A county spreadsheet will
load with links to the maps. The crashes are coded by the quarter of the year
offers the following suggestions for motorists to avoid being in a collision
with a deer:
down in posted deer crossing areas and heavily wooded areas, especially during
the late afternoon and evening;
indicate most car-deer crashes occur near bridges or overpasses. Deer also
follow railroad tracks, streams and ditches;
with high beams on, when possible, and watch out for eyes reflecting in the
that deer often travel in groups, so do not assume that the road is clear if
one deer has already passed;
not swerve to avoid contact with deer. This could cause the vehicle to flip or
veer into oncoming traffic, causing a more serious crash. Swerving also can
confuse the deer as to where to run;
you see a deer near or on the road, give you car horn one long blast. This
sound gives the deer an audible signal to avoid; and
the distance between your vehicle and other cars, especially at night. If the
car ahead of you hits a deer, you may also become involved in the accident.
Editor's Note: The North Carolina Animal Related Crashes report is attached below.
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