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Save the deer for the hunters: Tips on avoiding deer-vehicle collisions | Environment

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Save the deer for the hunters: Tips on avoiding deer-vehicle collisions

Hunters are happy to see the start of deer season, but for drivers it's a different story. According to AAA, approximately 1.6 million motor vehicle crashes are caused by deer each year. 

Collisions are the highest from October through December due to deer mating and hunting season. Deer-vehicle collisions make up more than $3.6 billion in vehicle damage per year, with each incident costing between $3,000 and $5,000 to repair. At this time of year, an average of 30 percent of Gates Automotive Center’s collision work is from deer related accidents.  

“Most damage from deer collisions occur in the front, or on the side of the vehicle, which can result in costly repairs,” said Gates Automotive Center President Jim Fonzi. “Damage from hitting a deer is similar to damage you would see after hitting another car.”

Gates Automotive Center recommends drivers keep the following tips from the AAA in mind to stay safe on roadways:

·         Scan the road and shoulders ahead of you. Looking ahead helps provide enough reaction time if a deer is spotted. Also, remember deer often move in groups, so when there is one deer, there are usually more in the area.

·         Use high beam headlights if there is no oncoming traffic. Deer may be spotted sooner when using high beams allowing time to slow down, move over or beep to scare the deer away from the road.

·         If a collision is unavoidable, press the brakes firmly and remain in your lane. Swerving to avoid a deer can often cause a more serious crash or result in drivers losing control of vehicles.

·         Do not rely on car-mounted deer whistles. 

·         Drivers should always wear a seat belt and drivers should remain awake, alert and sober.

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