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Drivers Beware: Deer-Vehicle Accidents on the Rise

November 19, 2009

Because October through November is the mating season for deer, the animals are on the move. November is the peak month for deer-vehicle accidents, according to TimesDaily.com.

And the deer are moving a lot more in populated areas.

More than 1.6 million deer-vehicle collisions occur each year, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Those collisions result in 150 traffic fatalities, tens of thousands of injuries, and more than $3.6 billion in vehicle damage. An additional $1 billion is spent on medical payments for injuries to people in the car and out-of-pocket expenses, according to the Institute.

Clay Ingram, an official with AAA of Alabama, said because deer are losing their habitats and don't have as many places to go, they're forced to live in populated areas.

But the increase in deer-vehicle accidents actually increases business for one industry: auto body shops. One such shop is Johnny's Body Shop in Petersville, Ala. Owner Johnny Miles said it's not unusual for his shop to work on 40-50 vehicles a year that have been damaged by deer.

Phillip Hardin, co-owner of Red Bay Body Shop, said he's already seeing people come in with damaged from collisions with deer. "And it's getting worse," he said.

 

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