ODOT Safety Analysis shows Crashes with Deer Likely to Spike
Number of crashes typically triples in October - to more than 120 crashes a day
COLUMBUS (Tuesday, October 12, 2010) - An updated safety analysis by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) shows that Ohio’s roadways are likely soon to see a spike in car and truck crashes with deer.
And the problem is not limited to rural areas: last year, the highways with the highest number of deer-vehicle crashes were in urban areas.
The number of deer-vehicle crashes often spikes as summer shifts to fall. ODOT’s safety analysis shows that the number of crashes last year tripled from September to October, jumping from an average of 40 each day to more than 120.
In 2009, there were a total 25,149 deer-vehicle crashes statewide with 1,137 people injured and three people killed. November saw the most crashes last year with 6,043 - an average of 200 per day.
Wildlife experts say the combination of fewer daylight hours with the increased movement of deer due to mating season and hunting season increases the risk of collisions between deer and vehicles.
Though most people would expect these crashes to be more likely in rural areas, motorists in urban regions of the state also need to watch out for these dangerous - and sometimes deadly - accidents involving deer. Last year, the areas with the highest number of deer-vehicle crashes were the Mansfield area (Richland County) with 717 crashes, the Canton area (Stark County) with 653 crashes, and the Cincinnati area (Hamilton County) with 615 crashes.
An in-depth analysis further details which two-mile stretches of state highways have the most number of deer-vehicle related crashes. ODOT is posting a map of the Top 12 Deer Crash Hot Spots online at www.transportation.ohio.gov.
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.
ODOT advises motorists to use these driving tips to help avoid collisions with deer:
See the Signs: deer-crossing signs are posted in high-risk areas. Drive with extreme caution, especially in the posted areas.
Deer Don’t Roam Alone: deer often run together. If you see one deer near or crossing the road, expect that others will follow.
Danger from Dusk to Dawn: 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.
Safety Begins Behind the Wheel: always wear safety 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.
For more information contact: Scott Varner, ODOT Central Office Communications, at 614-644-8640
or Becky Giauque \Jee-awg\, ODOT District 11 Communications, at (330) 308-3949