Tips on how to handle vehicle vs. deer crashes

(Photo: WKRN)
(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Vehicles versus deer crashes are reported around this time of year more than any other.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there is more than 1.5 million of this type of collision each year. They result in tens of thousands of injuries and more than $1 billion in vehicle damage.

More than 31,000 of those crashes over the past five years were reported in Tennessee and the number of accidents always increases in November each year.

“This is going into the mating season of deer, but also hunting season is starting to open and that’s two things that tend to get deer on the move. Also I think cold weather plays a factor because working the roads you’ll see your deer crashes increase during cooler temperatures,” said Sergeant Travis Plotzer with the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Deer are most active during dusk and dawn, so it’s particularly important to stay alert, continuously scan the area, and watch your speed during those times.

Remember, it’s typical that when you see one deer, there are likely more nearby and if a deer darts out in front of your car, you may not be able to avoid an accident.

“Try to stay the course if you can, but slow down. If we can get people to slow down and get people to be more observant when they drive, often times that will help show you hazards before you get to them,” Sergeant Plotzer told News 2.

If you can’t avoid hitting a deer, you can call *THP, or *847. Let the operator know exactly where you are, move your vehicle out of the middle of the road if possible and turn on your hazard lights.

A deer killed in a collision can be used as food as long as you call your nearest TWRA office and report the accident within 48 hours.

In Middle Tennessee, that number is 1-800-624-7406. The office is open weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.