Deer-auto collisions more often this time of year

Posted November 20, 2013
Updated November 21, 2013

— There were nearly 20,000 deer-related crashes in North Carolina last year, and the chances of running into one are highest this time of year.

Blake Farley, with Haddock Collision Centers in Raleigh, says he sees a lot of damage that deer can cause to cars, and he says most of what he sees happens between October and December.

"We see about a 15 percent increase in our business, based just off of deer impact," he said.

In the worst cases, deer can come through the windshield, but Farley says he has seen some cases where a driver was stopped at a traffic light and a deer ran into the side of the vehicle.

Damages can cost several hundred dollars to fix, and in some cases they can be so bad that it's not worth repairing a damaged vehicle. 

The reason deer collisions are higher in the latter months of the year is because it gets dark earlier and deer activity is also up because of it is their breeding season.

So what can motorists do to stay safe?

The North Carolina Department of Transportation recommends slowing down around wooded areas and to turn headlights on high beams when possible. Another tip: Look for the reflective eyes of deer.

Deer also travel in groups, so the DOT advises those who see one to assume there are usually more in the area.

The DOT also says that it's best not to swerve to miss a deer because doing so could cause a bigger wreck.

"The best thing I can say is to be alert and do not let anything distract you," Farley said.


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  • whatelseisnew Nov 22, 2013

    " I would also like to mention that all three were hit when she was driving her red car. She has had about seven cars, only one red."

    It is a little known fact that DEER hate red cars. They will go to any length to get them off the roads.

  • whatelseisnew Nov 22, 2013

    Yep I have several deer traveling through my property most mornings and evenings. One of them is eating the neighbors bushes. Apparently my bushes are not as tasty, they are leaving them alone. I did give up on my vegetable garden a few years ago. The deer just kept eating everything. One year I planted a cherry tomato plant in a give gallon pot. It was loaded with tomatoes, they were just starting to turn. One morning I got up and all that was left was 1 tomato. Guess that deer had a sense of humor.

  • bhenderson Nov 22, 2013

    My husband and I have four adult children. The oldest, a daughter, has hit 3 deer. Out of six adults in one family, I think that it is interesting that none of us have ever hit a deer (and we have them everywhere in the area that we live), except her. I would also like to mention that all three were hit when she was driving her red car. She has had about seven cars, only one red.

  • wynnediii Nov 22, 2013

    This is news? Next headline...."Days are shorter this time of year".

  • Lightfoot3 Nov 22, 2013

    “I had one do a roadrunner imitation” – bji

    I saw one briefly running in place, because he couldn’t get traction on the asphalt. Definitely looked like a cartoon. :)

    “My newborn grandson was in our car” – Homeward

    In other words, when one hit YOUR car, it got personal. :)

    Personally, I don’t believe in trophy hunting, but I’ve got no problem with people that hunt/fish for food.

  • bji Nov 22, 2013

    They will usually freeze in your headlights, but if you honk the horn they take off! I had one do a roadrunner imitation right on Atlantic between Millbrook and Harrod. It would not move until I hit the horn and it took off!

  • common tater Nov 21, 2013

    The rut is only part of it. Hunters definitely drive them out of the woods...there's more hunters in a given area than you might think. There's areas right by major roads/developments that haven't been annexed where hunting happens. The rut is mostly over now, but you'll see a lot more accidents in December than Jan. With 20k accidents a year, it's time to allow gun hunting on Sundays and extend the season a few weeks. Also a farmer should be allowed to depreditate on his/her land a few hours after dark, especially after the time change.

  • james27613 Nov 21, 2013

    I agree SLOW DOWN at night, 5-10 mph is all you need to be able to see the deer, often more then one, or react to the one you do not see.

    I also have a T shirt on my front grill with an image of
    Uncle Si from Duck Dynasty, keeps most deer far away!

  • Homeward Nov 21, 2013

    Lightfoot3 - When a deer can cause human injury or death completely out of the blue it's a hazard and thus my support for hunting to decrease the risks. My newborn grandson was in our car, definitely not a volunteer on that trip. I've never been a fan of endangering/ending innocent lives, human or otherwise, and humans will always have precedence for me.

  • Obamacare for one and all Nov 21, 2013

    Slow down people, it'll save a life.