Deer-crash season begins

All Ohio drivers warned, even in urban areas
 
COLUMBUS (September 29, 2011) - Ohio has eight million drivers, 121,000 miles of roadway, and 600,000 deer.  Trying to predict when and where a deer and motorist will meet is an impossible task, but drivers who understand how deer behave are more likely to avoid a crash.
 
The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) warns all Ohio drivers that autumn brings thousands of collisions between vehicles and deer, so drive with caution.
 
“Fewer daylight hours, combined with the increased movement of deer due to mating and hunting seasons, increase the risk of collisions,” said ODOT Director Jerry Wray.
 
In 2010, there were 23,201 deer-vehicle crashes statewide with 1,063 people injured and four people killed.  November saw the most crashes with 5,012, or 167 per day.
 
Because many deer-vehicle collisions go unreported to police and local authorities, the actual number of crashes throughout Ohio may be as high as 60,000 each year.
 
Last year, the areas with the highest number of deer-vehicle crashes were urban areas:  the Mansfield area (Richland County) with 648 crashes, the Canton area (Stark County) with 630, and the Cincinnati area (Hamilton County) with 620.
 
ODOT advises motorists to use these driving tips to help avoid collisions with deer:
  • Watch for deer-crossing signs and drive with extreme caution, especially in the posted areas.
 
  • If you see one deer near the road, expect that others will follow.
 
  • Watch for deer, especially at dawn and after sunset.  About 20 percent of these crashes occur in early morning, while more than half occur between 5 p.m. and midnight.
 
  • Always wear seat belts and drive at safe, sensible speeds for road conditions.
 
If a vehicle strikes a deer, motorists should report the crash by calling local law enforcement, the sheriff’s department, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, or the Ohio Department of Natural Resources – even if there is no damage to the motorist’s vehicle.
 
View a map of the top five deer-vehicle crash locations in eastern Ohio counties (Hot Spot Map for Eastern Ohio Counties).
 
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For more information, contact:
Melissa Ayers, ODOT Central Office Communications, at 614-644-8640 or
Becky Giauque \Jee-awg\, ODOT District 11 Communications Office, at 330-308-3949