COLUMBUS — Cooler weather and shorter days mean more deer are now gracing Ohio’s roadways. The number of deer-vehicle collisions peak during the fall, which means drivers need to use caution and remain alert during the months ahead.
“Although deer and other animals are unpredictable, there are actions you can take to help prevent a crash or reduce the damage from an animal collision,” said Ed Conley, of AAA Ohio Auto Club.
While any animal on the road is dangerous, deer are most often the cause of collisions. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there are more than 1.5 million deer-vehicle collisions each year, resulting in 150 occupant deaths and tens of thousands of injuries.
In 2017, more than 18,000 collisions with deer occurred on Ohio’s roadways, according to the Ohio Department of Public Safety crash statistics. These collisions resulted in seven deaths and 804 injuries.
October through December are peak months for deer-vehicle crashes, due to the clearing of fields and deer mating season. Last year, about 22 percent of Ohio’s deer-vehicle collisions occurred in November, when the Ohio Department of Public Safety recorded nearly 4,000 of these crashes.
Colliding with a deer is also very costly. In 2017, the average insurance claim for a deer-vehicle collision in Ohio was more than $4,400.