Entering Peak Time For Deer-Related Crashes In Ohio

The Ohio State Highway Patrol and Ohio Department of Natural Resources are reminding drivers about the increase in deer-related traffic crashes this time of year.

Since 2016, statistics from the Ohio State Highway Patrol show there were 100,672 deer-related crashes on Ohio’s roadways.

While 95 percent of deer-related crashes only resulted in property damage, 27 crashes resulted in fatal injuries to motorists, with 28 killed.

Additionally, nearly half (47 percent) of these crashes occurred in October, November, and December.

“As we enter the peak season for car-deer collisions in Ohio, I encourage drivers to use extra caution and slow down, especially at dawn or dusk when deer are more active,” said Governor DeWine.

“A crash with a deer can be just as destructive as a crash with another vehicle, so it’s important that drivers remember to stay alert and watch out for animals crossing the road.”

Some of the top counties for deer-related crashes include Hancock, Stark, Richland, Lorain and Trumbull with I-71, US-30 and I-80 being the leading roadways in the state.

“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.”

According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), deer become visibly active from late October through November.

This is due in large part to the fall breeding season.

While males pursue prospective mates throughout the season, 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.

This unpredictable movement leads to an increase in deer-related vehicle crashes.

Drivers are encouraged to be extra cautious in areas where fencerows, riparian corridors, or other blocks of forested habitat intersect a roadway.

“As motorists have likely noticed, deer are very visible and active in the fall,” ODNR wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker said.

“If you see one deer, be on the lookout for others nearby. Deer rarely run alone.”


Matt Demczyk (WFIN)