Drivers beware: deer will destroy vehicles - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Drivers beware: deer will destroy vehicles

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By Tayleigh Davis - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Deer collisions have been happening all over South Georgia. Dougherty County had four reports Thursday.

DNR officials say increased population and development are running deer out of the woods and further into communities where people drive.

Several cars that sit in the Master Body Works repair shop are damaged due to recent deer collisions.

Deer in the grass, cars passing, and deer crossing are all signs for people to watch out for the animals. There's not much to do when a deer runs out in front of a car traveling 65 miles per hour.

Master Body Works Shop Manager Bob Sheetz says the best thing people can do is hit the deer- don't swerve or slam on breaks because that can cause drivers to spin out.

"They're going to run- when they hear your car when they hit the pavement, they lose traction,"Sheets said.

We took a walk through his body shop where he's repairing several cars right now due to deer collisions, including a Lexus and what's left of a headlight. The deer went through the bumper on a Honda Element. It went through the absorber and damaged the core support which is about $7,000 worth of damage.

"Certainly watch out for them out there," Sheets noted. "It's rut season which means the bucks are chasing the does."

Sheetz says try to avoid driving between the hours of 6:00 to 8:30 am and 5:00 to 9:00 p.m., so  cars won't become totaled like a Pontiac Sunfire which sits in the shop. The deer caused this airbag to inflate and crack the windshield, but the driver was okay.

"This years deer season was so bad, last year ran right into this year," Sheets said.

The Department of Natural Resources doesn't expect the season to slow down until early spring. Lee County sees about four to five deer collisions each week.

The DOT reports nearly 10,000 deer-vehicle collisions annually in Georgia. That's  based on a report in 2002.

Officials with the Georgia Department of Resources expect that to go up this year because urban development has caused deer collisions to increase.

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