By Matt Popovich
(Undated) - One of the greatest perks of living in Indiana is the ability to see many types of wildlife on a regular basis.
A drawback to living in an area with a high amount of wildlife is the risk of animal versus vehicle collisions.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources released a statement recently stating drivers should be especially conscious of deer wandering out in to roadways. Beginning in October with the start of deer breeding season, deer begin to wander onto roadways with more frequency.
Indiana Crash Facts, a compilation of accident statistics, reported 15,205 deer collisions occurred in 2011.
“With the number of deer and the number of vehicles out there, deer/vehicle accidents will happen,” said IDNR biologist Chad Stewart.
According to Stewart, the best thing drivers can do is to take measures to avoid an accident involving a deer. Some things he recommends:
- Deer are most active around sunset and sunrise.
- Deer often travel in groups, so if you see one there will probably be more.
- Be especially careful near areas where you have seen deer before.
- If you see a deer, reduce your speed.
- Never swerve to miss striking a deer; most serious accidents occur when individuals swerve to avoid striking a deer.
If you do strike a deer, Stewart recommends never approaching the animal. Although deer are generally harmless, a wounded animal can be extremely dangerous.