"Nationwide deer-vehicle accidents cause about 29,000 human injuries, 200 human fatalities, and $1 billion in property damage annually.”

- M.R. Conover, Wildlife Society Bulletin

A study by Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in 2003 demonstrated that for every dead deer found by the road there were 8.6 auto accidents with deer and 5 more deer that were also killed by vehicles but not recorded as dead. This study used data from 8 towns across the state and compared deer roadkill data submitted to DEP with state trooper vehicle accidents reports involving deer.
Thus the correction factor for deer roadkills is 6 and the correction factor for deer-vehicle accidents is 8.6. Both correction factors are applied to the number of deer that are killed and reported to DEP. So if 100 deer are reported to DEP, then 860 deer are actually hit by motor vehicles (some may die and some survive). (Communication from Howard Kilpatrick at CT DEP).

In the average front-end collision, a deer causes $4,500 to $7,500 worth of repairs. This leads to inflated insurance premiums for all motorists living in areas of high density deer populations. Read the full story.

Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable and there have been several tragic accidents recently-

Lawrence Grodsky, Top American expert on motorcycle safety and well known to thousands of motorcyclists for his monthly magazine column on safety and his on-the-road training courses, died April 8 2006 when his motorcycle collided with a deer. He was 55. "Just a few weeks ago he said to me, 'That's how I'm going to go, it's going to be a deer.' He could deal with all the idiot drivers, but at night when a deer jumps in your path, that's it and he knew that."

Lawrence Grodsky: Read obituary

Deer: Unbelievable as this may sound, nearly one out of every 200 vehicles in the United States will collide with a deer this year! In 2005 they roam the neighborhood the way dogs did in the days before leash laws. Unlike inattentive drivers, who invade our space from well-known coordinates, deer explode at full gallop out of anything vaguely green. It’s a game of chance, but the odds are markedly better for those who manage their speed and who understand where and when deer are most active.


Liam Neeson hits deer

Academy Award nominee Liam Neeson feared he may never walk again after he collided his Harley-Davidson bike with a deer in Connecticut. A truck driver discovered the Irish actor lying by the road.

He suffered multiple injuries including a broken pelvis, broken heel and a multitude of abrasions when his motorcycle went out of control after colliding with a deer on a country road near his home. "At one point the deer was over my handle bars and I was trying to keep balanced." Neeson spent a week in the hospital recovering from his near-death crash, then months of gruelling physiotherapy. It was a horrific ordeal, and the actor remembers it clearly. "I remember being on my '89 Springer Softail, an hour outside New York City, on a country road, the 11th of July, about 12 noon... read full article

For more on motorcycles and deer see Motorcycles and Deer

Successful sharpshooting programs reduce deer vehicle accidents.
A 2008 report on a 6 year study in Princeton New Jersey demonstrates that reducing local deer densities through a culling program dramatically reduces Deer Vehicle Collisions.
Moreover, the cost benefits of averting accidents includes savings from preventing damage to a vehicle involved in a DVC and a reduction in human injuries and fatalities associated
with DVCs (Bissonett e et al. 2008). Additional benefits of reducing deer densities include a reduction in landscape damage (Ward 2000, DeNicola et al. 2000), reduced numbers of blacklegged
ticks (Ixodes scapularis) and associated cases of Lyme disease (Staff ord et al. 2003), and reduced ecological damage to forested areas (Kelty and Nyland 1983, Kittredge et al. 1992,
Conover 1997).

Anthony J. DeNicola and Scott C. Williams. 2008. Sharpshooting suburban white-tailed deer reduces deer-vehicle collisions (pdf). Pages 28-33

CNNMoney.com/State Farm Insurance
Insurance survey finds wrecks are up 6%; costs up too.
November 14 2006: 

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Drivers smashing into deer on U.S. roads is an increasing, costly and dangerous problem, according to an insurance survey released November 2006.

Deer-related car crashes, including wrecks involving elk and moose, are up almost six percent compared to last year's deer season, according to the report by State Farm Insurance.
Deer collisions become more frequent during fall and winter due to deer migration and mating season, which typically occur from October through December.
About 1.5 million deer-vehicle collisions happen each year in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
State Farm policy holders were involved in 192,877 deer-related collisions this year versus 182,458 last year. The average property damage cost was $2,800, $300 more than last year, State Farm said.

Increasing deer populations and the encroachment of urban sprawl into the deer's natural habitat have added to the risk, according to State Farm.
"Deer whistles," devices that attach to the vehicles' front bumpers, have been shown to be ineffective, State Farm said.

Greenwich fatality
"Recently, at the Merritt Parkway's Exit 31 in Greenwich, a deer crashed through the windshield of a car driven by a Greenwich resident and mother of two, killing her after she lost control of her car. State Police were quoted as saying that deer pose a significant risk on the highways."   Kent Haydock, Darien Representative on the FCMDMA

For more articles and Editorials on Deer Vehicle Accidents go to "FCMDMAlliance Deer/Vehicle Hazards"

New York Times December 2 2007: Week in Review:
 http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/02/weekinreview/02deer.html?_r=1&oref=slogin
"Wildlife experts estimate 32 million white-tails — by far the country’s dominant species of deer — roam America’s woods, fields and backyards." A driver's odds of hitting a deer are calculated for each state. There are reporting differences however that affect this data for our state: Connecticut is one of only two states that do not count deer accidents on non-state roads according to the Deer Vehicle Crash Information Clearinghouse: http://www.deercrash.com/states/connecticut.htm

 

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