GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — An increase in deer sightings should have drivers paying more attention on the roads, experts say.
As the night tends to fall quicker, it gets harder to see the roadways, and experts say this is the time of the year deer can be seen on the roads more often.
President and Training Coordinator for Wildlife Rehab Inc., Carol Kaiser, said the fall and winter seasons are when deer mate and look for food, which is scarce this time of the year.
“We are starting to see all of the babies that come in the spring and summer. They are starting to go out on their own and forge their own path and trying to forage their own food away from mom,” Kaiser said.
Kaiser said deer sometimes search for food near roadways, which becomes hazardous for drivers, especially at night.
Jerry Mathis is a co-owner at Ray’s Body Shop and Wrecker Service and said they receive calls for deer-related accidents at least once a week.
Mathis said if drivers aren’t paying close attention, it could cost them thousands of dollars to repair a car, depending on the make and model.
“The damage can be from where you just get a brushing of the deer, to where it barely hits it just off the roadway, where it’s a few hundred dollars. We’ve had deer hits [costing] nine and ten-thousand dollars worth of damage — a lot of that depends on the vehicle also,” Mathis said.
According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, from October to December, drivers must remain alert on the roads to avoid deer-related collisions.
According to NCDOT’s Traffic Safety Unit, about 7% of all vehicle crashes in the state involve animal strikes.