Deer-vehicle collisions on the decline

Heading into deer season, new research shows that deer-vehicle collisions are on the decline, while the costs of repairs are rising.

According to data from State Farm Insurance, Georgia drivers have a 1 in 154 chance of striking a deer compared with 1 in 150 a year ago.

Alvin Williams beat those odds not once, but twice. He was heading back to Georgia in the midst of a thunderstorm when the first collision happened.

"A deer just jumped in front of me and it was a very traumatic experience," said driver Alvin Williams.

It was an experience that left the deer dead and his car damaged. Car insurance experts say during deer migration season these types of accidents tend to increase.

"October, November and December are the three months with the most deer collisions," said State Farm Insurance Agent Andy Christo.

He says for this reason, deer accidents are covered by insurance companies, costing an average of $3,700 to repair.

Williams says his first run in with a deer put a dent in his pockets, but a second encounter that happened in Calhoun County took him to the bank.

"I was driving and deer just jumped out in front of me. I hit both deer and ended up totaling that vehicle," said Alvin Williams.

After two accidents that involved deer, Williams is taking steps to make sure it doesn't happen again. He uses a deer whistle on his car to emit a high pitch noise that scares the animals away.

State Farm agent Andy Christo says the company stresses safety to drivers during this time of year, hoping they won't share the same fate as Williams.

Here are tips on how to reduce the odds of a deer-vehicle collision involving your vehicle:

  • Be aware of posted deer crossing signs. These are placed in active deer crossing areas.
  • Remember that deer are most active between 6 and 9 p.m.
  • Use high beam headlamps as much as possible at night to illuminate the areas from which deer will enter roadways.
  • Keep in mind that deer generally travel in herds â" if you see one, there is a strong possibility others are nearby.
  • Do not rely on car-mounted deer whistles.
  • If a deer collision seems inevitable, attempting to swerve out of the way could cause you to lose control of your vehicle or place you in the path of an oncoming vehicle.

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