AAA, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Ohio Department of Insurance, Ohio Department of Transportation, Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission want to remind motorists of the increase in deer-related traffic crashes this time of year.
Since 2018, statistics from the Ohio State Highway Patrol show there were 104,328 deer-related crashes on Ohio’s roadways. While 95% of deer-related crashes only resulted in property damage, 33 crashes resulted in fatal injuries to motorists, with a total 34 people being killed. Additionally, 47% of these crashes occurred in October, November and December.
“Ohio drivers should keep in mind that deer activity always increases during this time of year – especially at dawn and dusk,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “With Ohio’s strengthened distracted driving laws now in place, we anticipate that more drivers will stay alert to their surroundings, and as a result, we hope fewer deer-related crashes will take place this fall.”
At least 50 deer-related crashes happened in each county, with the highest taking place in Stark, Richland, Hancock and Defiance counties. The routes with the most deer-related crashes were U.S. Route 30, state Route 2, Interstate 71, Interstate 75 and Interstate 77.
“You’re more likely to spot deer when you practice safe driving habits and have your full attention on the roadway,” said Colonel Charles A. Jones, Patrol superintendent. “If you happen to strike a deer, if you’re able, move yourself to a safe place, turn on your hazards and report the crash.” According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife, deer become visibly active in October, November and December. This is due in large part to the fall breeding season, which sometimes causes deer to dart into roadways with little caution.
Drivers who come across a deer in the roadway should break firmly but not swerve to avoid the deer, because doing so could cause an even worse crash.