It's that time of year to look out for deer on the road

Nov 7, 2013

Credit dishfunctional / Flickr

November is deer-mating season, and as the deer mate -- drivers are at a higher risk of hitting them. 

Protection Regional Supervisor, Tom Strother, of the Missouri Department of Conservation, said the nearly 250-lb animals can dart into traffic -- without much warning.  And those deer are normally not alone. 

"Because the animals tend to travel in herds, accidents do not always involve only one deer," Strother said. 

Captain Tim Hull of the Missouri State Highway Patrol said Missouri drivers experienced 3,980 deer-related accidents last year.

“It’s about one deer strike every 2.2 hours in the state," Hull said.  "And in those crashes just last year, 5 people were killed and 411 were injured in those crashes."

Hull isn’t the only one trying to warn drivers about the ramifications of deer-related crashes.

Spokesperson Jim Camoriano of State Farm Insurance, said Missouri is a high-risk state for deer-related crashes. Missouri is currently ranked as 15th in the nation.

“Your chances of hitting a deer with your vehicle in the state of Missouri is 1 in 115 within the next year.," Camoriano said.  "You are three times more likely to hit a deer within the month of November than any other month." 

State Farm usually hears of accidents occurring between 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. 

Most of the incidents occur on rural highways, however, are not limited to that area.

"Missouri is a unique state because even urban areas are surrounded by forests," Hull said. 

Strother, Hull, and Camoriano all said drivers should not swerve when they see a deer because it could cause more damage to the vehicle, as well as  the drivers.

CORRECTION: The headline and text of this story previously said that Jefferson City was among the top 10 locations in the country for deer-car accidents. That is not correct and was based on the reporter's misunderstanding of published data.