Deer collisions becoming a year-round problem in South Ga.
ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - If you live in Georgia, you know deer are a common obstacle in rural areas. As a result, collision repair shops are staying busy, even outside of deer season.
“I know it’s not just me. It was just my turn. I knew it was inevitable,” said Nikki Bryant, a victim of a deer collision.
Bryant hit a deer head-on in November 2022 as she was traveling to work on a back road.
“It pretty much came out of nowhere so I didn’t brake or slow down or stop. I hit it going about 64 miles per hour,” Bryant said.
Bryant was left with two busted radiators and the front end of her car smashed in—all totaling up to $13,000 in repairs. She just got her car back this month after repairs took two months to complete. The auto repair shop was short on parts.
“So it was a challenge to overcome that,” Bryant said.
Dougherty County police responded to 11 deer collisions in one week.
“So far in 2023 we’ve had 22 deer accidents,” Lt. David McVey, a Dougherty County police officer said.
Fortunately, none of those accidents were fatal. McVey said with deer breeding season being from October to late December, it’s common to have a lot of calls at this time of year.
Bryant is not alone in her fear of hitting a deer again. According to the Insurance Information Institute, U.S. drivers had 1.9 million animal collision insurance claims between July 2021 to June 2022. In Georgia, 1 in 83 collisions are accidents involving deer, according to State Farm.
“I mean it’s frightening. It’s scary every day driving to work. It just seems like there’s an overpopulation,” Bryant said.
She added that opening up more opportunities to hunt can help with the deer population. Right now, hunting season starts in mid-October and ends in early January.
“With overpopulation and the damages to vehicles and property, it seems that there would be some way to extend that time to give people a longer time to hunt those deer to maybe correct the overpopulation,” Bryant said.
McVey said it doesn’t matter day or night, deer-related accidents can happen at any time which is why you should know some safety tips as you continue to get behind the wheel.
“You can try to flash your lights at a deer to try to get their attention and also blow your horn,” McVey said.
McVey added that if the deer collision is unavoidable it’s safer for you to maintain your lane instead of swerving.
“Try to lessen the impact as much as possible. Many times, people try to swerve to avoid the deer and end up hitting the deer anyway. It’s just not worth it,” McVey said.
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