The explosion in the deer population has lead to a continuing increase in deer-car collisions. This trend will only increase as the deer population grows and urban habitats continue to encroach upon rural environments.
According to the National Safety Council, there were 530,000 animal-related accidents in 2003 and these collisions resulted in 100 deaths and 10,000 injuries.
The average cost per insurance claim for collision damage is $2,800, with costs varying depending on the type of vehicle and severity of damage. When you factor in auto claims involving bodily injury, the average rises to $10,000.
Most deer-vehicle collisions occur in the months of October, November, and December. Peak times for collisions are the last week of October and the first two weeks of November. Highest-risk periods are from sunset to midnight and the hours shortly before and after sunrise.
Defensive driving tips to avoid hitting a deer:
- Be especially attentive from sunset to midnight and during the hours shortly before and after sunrise. These are the highest risk times for deer-vehicle collisions.
- Drive with caution when moving through deer-crossing zones, in areas known to have a large deer population and in areas where roads divide agricultural fields from forestland. Deer seldom run alone. If you see one deer, others may be nearby.
- When driving at night, use high beam headlights when there is no oncoming traffic. The high beams will better illuminate the eyes of deer on or near the roadway.
- Slow down and blow your horn with one long blast to frighten the deer away.
- Brake firmly when you notice a deer in or near your path, but stay in your lane. Many serious crashes occur when drivers swerve to avoid a deer and hit another vehicle or lose control of their cars.
- Always wear your seat belt. Most people injured in car/deer crashes were not wearing their seat belt.
- Do not rely on devices such as deer whistles, deer fences and reflectors to deter deer. These devices have not been proven to reduce deer-vehicle collisions.
Motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of injury-related deaths among children ages 14 and under, more than 1,400 child occupants died in 2005. Furthermore, more than 203,000 children ages 14 and under were injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2005. On an average day, four children under the age of 14 are killed, and approximately 600 are injured in motor vehicle crashes here in the United States. In Indiana, over 5,000 child injuries occurred in motor vehicle collisions in 2007, 49 of which were fatal.
One glaring reason for the high number of injuries and fatalities is because children are still traveling in motor vehicles unrestrained or not properly restrained in Indiana.
Indiana Child Restraint Law (Effective July 1, 2005)
- Children are required to ride properly restrained in a child restraint, which can include a belt positioning booster seat, until they reach their 8th birthday. (This does not include shoulder belt positioners.)
- Children at least 8 years old until their 16th birthday are required to ride properly restrained in a child restraint system or seat belt in all seating positions in all vehicles.
Car Seat Clinic by Kosciusko Co Safe Kids September 21, 2013- 9:00 AM- 12:00 PM Warsaw AutoPlex, 2777 N. SR 15, Warsaw, IN 4658
What You Need To Know About 2nd Hand Child Safety Seats -A second hand child safety seat can put your child at risk if you do not know the history of the seat. Used child safety seats purchased at garage sales, thrift stores, and consignment shops do not come with guarantees of their condition or crash history. Click here to learn more about child safety seats involved in a crash. If you do not know the history of a child seat, you should not use it. If you know the history of a second hand child safety seat, make sure it meets the following guidelines before you use it: http://ow.ly/o5PMk
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