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.
- Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field. (2009, VTTI)
- Of those killed in distracted-driving-related crashed, 995 involved reports of a cell phone as a distraction (18% of fatalities in distraction-related crashes). (NHTSA)
- Using a cell phone while driving, whether it’s handheld or hands-free, delays a driver’s reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent. (2009, University of Utah)
- In 2011, 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver, compared to 3,267 in 2010. An additional, 387,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver, compared to 416,000 injured in 2010.
- 10% of injury crashes in 2011 were reported as distraction-affected crashes.
- As of December 2012, 171.3 billion text messages were sent in the US (includes PR, the Territories, and Guam) every month. (CTIA)
- 11% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.
- For drivers 15-19 years old involved in fatal crashes, 21 percent of the distracted drivers were distracted by the use of cell phones (NHTSA)
Don’t become a statistic. Here’s how you can keep yourself and others safe when you’re out on the road:
- Take the Pledge Commit to being a safe, distraction-free driver. Print out the pledge form, fill it in, and keep it in your car or locker as a reminder to stay off the phone when you’re driving.
- Be Seen Share a “Faces of Distracted Driving” video on Facebook or Twitter to let your friends know about the consequences of cell phone use behind the wheel. Change your social networking profile picture to remind your friends that “One Text or Call Could Wreck It All.”
- Speak Up Don’t stop at being a great driver – be a great passenger! Make sure to call out your friends, and even your parents, if you see them using a cell phone behind the wheel.
- Spread the Word Get involved in promoting safe driving in your community. Hang up posters, host an event on distracted driving, or start a SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) chapter at your school.
Stop The Texts. Stop The Wrecks. Videos
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
Is Your Child Safety Seat installed correctly? Is your child installed in the safety seat correctly? Stop by a permanent fitting station and have a trained technician check! It could save a life.