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ODNR warns drivers of increase in deer-related crashes this time of year

deer season.jpg
Posted at 6:27 AM, Oct 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-23 10:45:45-04

CLEVELAND — Right now in Northeast Ohio, you’re more likely to hit a deer on the roads than any other time of year. Deer-related accidents happen most between October and December, which is deer breeding season. The Ohio State Highway Patrol reported 19,375 deer-related crashes on Ohio roads last year. Stark County reported the most in the state between January and November 2019. And Sgt. Ray Santiago of the Ohio State Highway Patrol warns they can be deadly.

Males pursue prospective mates throughout the season. However, they often encounter females that are not yet willing to breed, which can result in pursuits where deer will dart into roadways with little caution.

"Some of these deer crashes could be as simple as some property damage for the driver that's alert and, you know, maintain their lane, did straight line braking and it simply struck the animal, unfortunately. But they can range all the way up to serious injury and even fatal crashes," her said.

While those crashes can be dangerous – they’re also costly. The average insurance claim for those crashes is nearly $4,000. And if you crash while swerving to miss a deer, you could be cited with failure to control.

“Always avoid distractions and keep your full focus on the roadway,” said Colonel Richard Fambro of the Ohio State Highway Patrol. “If you see a deer slow down, but do not swerve. If you strike a deer, move to a safe place if you are able, turn on your hazard lights, and report the crash.”

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