More car-deer crashes this time of year

Published 9:00 am Sunday, November 8, 2015

Paying attention to surroundings is key to avoid car-deer collisions, according to Freeborn County Sheriff Kurt Freitag.

“Pay attention, don’t watch just the roadway,” Freitag said. “Watch the ditches as well. Be aware of the environment you are driving in.”

Numerous car-deer collisions have been reported in the last couple weeks, and Freitag said such collisions are common this time of year.

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He said combines scare the deer out of the fields and into the road, as they search for peace and quiet.

Freitag said, in the past, deer have struck cars on an everyday basis this time of year.

He advised using brakes to avoid striking a deer, and to avoid swerving because it can cause someone to lose control of their car.

According to Freitag, roads located near wooded areas and cornfields are common areas where cars are struck by deer.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are about 1 million car accidents with deer each year that kill 200 Americans, cause more than 10,000 personal injuries and result in $1 billion in vehicle damage.

According to the administration, drivers spend an additional $3 billion in an effort to reduce and manage the increasing number of deer-vehicle collisions.

According to American Family Insurance, fastening seatbelts, paying attention to deer crossing signs, and being especially alert at dawn and dusk can reduce the risk of being struck.

The company said it received 32,539 car-animal claims in 2010.

The insurance company advised people to look for more deer if one comes across the road and to notify authorities if a car is struck.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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