Lancaster Online recently published a story on why Pennsylvania tops the nation in deer-vehicle collisions. According to State Farm insurance, 10 percent of all their deer collision claims come from Pennsylvania and just in the last year, there were over 125,000 collisions reported. Your chances of hitting a deer in the state have been calculated to be one in 70.
But why Pennsylvania? Also according to State Farm representatives, Pennsylvania provides the perfect environment for deer and human crashes: communities continue to change and alter deer habitat and increase traffic flow, which leads to more overall vehicle-deer collisions. Homes are also often landscaped with shrubs and flowers, which are appetizing to deer. Pennsylvania also has one of the highest overall miles of road in the nation.
A lack of deer hunting is not an issue; just from the fall of 2013 through winter 2014, over 350,000 deer were killed by hunters in the state. Overall, there is also skepticism surrounding just how effective hunting is at controlling populations in a sustainable way. Some communities have been successfully able to reduce deer populations more sustainably through wildlife contraception, surprisingly enough.
There are also a surprisingly high number of car crashes related to dead deer as roadside objects: in 2014 alone, hit deer were the cause of almost 3,500 crashes in the state.
Stay Safe on the Roads
It is important to note that, although these collisions are not typically a large source of death for U.S. drivers, many drivers are injured as a result and they can be very costly. Drivers should be careful to note the following:
- You are most likely to encounter a deer crossing a road at dusk and/or dawn;
- Deer are most likely to be in the road between October andDecember. During these times, they are sometimes not paying as much attention to their surroundings because they are looking to breed. In addition, hunters, farmers, and hikers may be flushing them out of certain areas during these months (leading them to cross the roadways);
- Drive slow and use high beams when driving at night to better spot deer if there is no oncoming traffic;
- Deer frequently travel in family groups, so if one has crossed the road, chances are that more will try to follow;
- Drivers who see dead deer along the side of the road should be report this to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation at 1-800-FIX-ROAD; and
- Collisions with deer can increase your insurance premiums.
Solnick & Associates
Solnick & Associates warns drivers to be safe on the roads and drive defensively, according to local traffic laws, and with driver’s insurance. If you or a loved one has been involved in an auto accident and are seeking representation, contact our attorneys today for a free consultation.