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Tennessee Highway Patrol Urges Motorists to Watch Out for Deer

Monday, October 20, 2014 | 05:39am

NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) urges motorists to exercise caution on the roadways this time of year due to deer-mating and -hunting season. Last year, two people were killed in traffic crashes involving deer on state roadways.  

“The fall season is the most active time of year for deer-related crashes. We want to remind drivers to watch out for deer on or around the roadways, especially at dawn or after sunset,” Colonel Tracy Trott said.

Motorists are also encouraged to dial *THP (*847) from an available cell phone for assistance in the event of a deer-related crash. The call will be connected to the nearest THP Communications Center and the next available state trooper will be dispatched to the location.

In Tennessee, there were 6,135 deer-related crashes in 2013. That’s an increase of 3.2 percent from the 5,947 crashes involving deer the previous year. Last year’s deer-related traffic incidents, included, 5,853 property damage crashes, 280 wrecks with injury, and two vehicular fatalities.  

The THP also reports that between 2009 and 2013, 8.9 percent of deer-related crashes occurred on interstate highways. Deer-related crashes in Tennessee have steadily increased by 15.3 percent since 2009.  

According to State Farm®, the nation’s leading auto insurer, there have been an estimated 1.25 million collisions between deer and vehicles in the U.S. between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014. That’s an almost three percent increase from a year ago.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) suggest the following tips to help prevent deer-related crashes during peak mating and hunting seasons:

Remember that mating season puts deer on the move and deer tend to move at dawn and dusk.

·         Whenever you see deer cross the road, expect more to follow.  Many times, the second or third deer crossing becomes the one that motorists hit.

·         Be attentive; drive defensively, constantly scanning the roadside, especially at daybreak and dusk.

·         Do not swerve to avoid contact with deer. This could cause the vehicle to flip or veer into oncoming traffic, causing a more serious crash. Swerving also can confuse the deer as to where to run.

·         When you spot a deer, slow down immediately.  Proceed slowly until you pass that point.

·         If you do collide with a deer, never approach the injured animal.  They are powerful and can cause bodily harm to a human.  Report any deer collision, even if the damage is minor.

Tennessee law allows deer killed in a collision to be taken and used as food, as long as you contact the

nearest TWRA regional office to report the accident within 48 hours. For a listing of TWRA regional offices, visit the TWRA website at www.tnwildlife.org

Enclosed are statistics for deer-related crashes in Tennessee from 2009 - 2013.  Additional data regarding deer-related crashes can be found at:

http://tn.gov/safety/stats/CrashData/default.shtml

 

Deer Involved Crashes Statewide by Month, 2009 – 2013

Crash Month

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

5 Yr. Total

5 Yr. Average

January

353

320

428

460

429

1,990

398

February

304

275

346

310

331

1,566

313

March

252

334

286

228

331

1,431

286

April

314

301

305

272

366

1,558

312

May

354

386

369

330

367

1,806

361

June

363

386

376

425

481

2,031

406

July

269

317

273

313

281

1,453

291

August

246

226

278

261

292

1,303

261

September

216

307

288

296

317

1,424

285

October

594

664

597

791

665

3,311

662

November

1,348

1,293

1,333

1,494

1,401

6,869

1,374

December

707

616

810

767

874

3,774

755

Total

5,320

5,425

5,689

5,947

6,135

28,516

5,703

 

Source: Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security; Research, Planning, and Development; TITAN; 29 Sep 2014.

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s (www.TN.Gov/safety) mission is to serve, secure, and protect the people of Tennessee.

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