50,000+ Ge­or­gia mo­torists col­lided with deer in 2016-17

Walker County Messenger - - Front Page -

The like­li­hood of col­lid­ing with a large an­i­mal more than dou­bles dur­ing Oc­to­ber, Novem­ber and De­cem­ber, dur­ing deer mat­ing sea­son. Whether you hit a large an­i­mal or it jumps into the side of your ve­hi­cle, such col­li­sions can cause sig­nif­i­cant in­juries and prop­erty dam­age. No mat­ter where you live, it’s im­por­tant to re­main alert and fo­cused on the road so you can take ac­tion in the event a large an­i­mal is sud­denly in your path.

U.S. driv­ers were slightly more likely, 1 in 162, to have a claim in­volv­ing a col­li­sion with deer, elk, moose, or cari­bou than they did the past year (1 in 164), ac­cord­ing to the State Farm an­nual deer col­li­sion study. Ge­or­gian’s odds are not as good, with the like­li­hood of a deer-ve­hi­cle col­li­sion com­ing in at 1 in 122 driv­ers, well above the na­tional av­er­age.

“Ge­or­gia’s rapid growth cou­pled with the white­tail deer’s amaz­ing abil­ity to adapt makes col­li­sions all the more likely,” said State Farm Spokesman Justin Tom­czak. “Be alert, es­pe­cially in th­ese fall months when deer move­ment is at its high­est. Just as im­por­tant as the time of year and the time of day is the need to put down your phone and not be a dis­tracted driver. In the split se­conds you di­vert your eyes from the road to check Face­book, a 200 pound white­tail deer may step into the path of your ve­hi­cle.”

Some other tips to help keep driv­ers safe in­clude: Slow down, par­tic­u­larly at dusk and dawn. If you see one deer, be pre­pared for more deer to cross the road. Pay at­ten­tion to deer cross­ing signs. Buckle up. Ev­ery trip, ev­ery time. Use your high beams to see farther, ex­cept when there is on­com­ing traf­fic. Brake if you can, but avoid swerv­ing, which could re­sult in a more se­vere crash. Re­main fo­cused on the road, scan­ning for haz­ards, in­clud­ing an­i­mals. Avoid dis­trac­tions, like de­vices or eat­ing, which might cause you to miss see­ing an an­i­mal. Do not rely on prod­ucts such as deer whis­tles, which are not proven ef­fec­tive. If rid­ing a mo­tor­cy­cle, al­ways wear pro­tec­tive gear and keep fo­cus on the road ahead. There is also an in­creased risk of col­li­sion with deer around dawn and dusk. Driv­ers should be en­gaged, alert and on the look­out at all times, be­cause you never know when you may need to re­act to a deer or other ob­sta­cle that may cross your travel path.

The na­tional claim cost per claim av­er­age from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017 was $4,179 —an in­crease from $3,995 from 2015-16.

The months most driv­ers had col­li­sions with a deer, elk, moose or cari­bou in the U.S. were: Novem­ber, Oc­to­ber and De­cem­ber.

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