Posted by Debra Worley - email
RALEIGH, NC (WECT) - Since 2006, wildlife related automobile accidents have resulted in 18 fatalities and millions of dollars in damages, according the NC DOT.
In an effort to help decrease the number of those types of crashes, the DOT is reminding motorists to be aware of the increased presence of deer on NC roads during the fall months.
According to the DOT, more than 15,500 animal-related crashes are reported each year, 90 percent involving deer.
"Drivers need to stay focused and alert at all times, but especially this time of year when it is getting darker sooner and deer activity increases," said NCDOT Director of Mobility and Safety Kevin Lacy in a statement.
While a crash involving a deer can happen at any time, the majority of deer-vehicle collisions occur between the months of October and December.
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.
NCDOT offers the following suggestions for motorists to avoid being in a deer-vehicle collision:
- Slow down in posted deer crossing areas and heavily wooded areas, especially during the late afternoon and evening.
- Drive with high beams on, when possible, and watch out for eyes reflecting in the headlights.
- Remember that deer often travel in groups, so do not assume that the road is clear if one deer has already passed.
- Do not swerve to avoid contact with deer. This could cause the vehicle to flip or veer into oncoming traffic, causing a more serious crash.
The North Carolina Animal-Related Crashes 2006-2008 data and county rankings can be found by clicking here.