Morning commuters have one more hazard to worry about in the next few weeks. This is the time of year when deer are most often near roads and highways.
October, November and December are the months when deer activity is high because of the “rut” — mating season — according to the S.C. Department of Natural Resources. More specifically, SCDNR says Lowcountry deer are most active from October to mid-November because they are looking for mates.
A State Farm study found that South Carolina drivers had a 1 in 95 chance of a deer collision based on data taken over a year’s time.
The insurance company estimated that 1.35 million auto-deer collisions occurred in the U.S. between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017. It said the average cost per claim was $4,179.
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Meanwhile, a new dashcam video from Minnesota shows how jarring such a collision can be.
In the video, a deer jumps into the road in front of a Minnesota sheriff’s deputy responding to a call at 114 mph in the dark, early morning hours of Oct. 21, Isanti County Sheriff Chris Caulk told the Duluth News Tribune.
The video was posted on the Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook page along with photos of the smashed law enforcement vehicle.
The post emphasizes that drivers should follow the deputy’s example and not swerve when they are about to hit an animal. If the deputy had swerved, the post says, he would have been at greater risk of rolling the vehicle and receiving more serious injuries.
What should you do if you hit a deer with your vehicle? Here’s what SCDNR says:
▪ The accident should be reported to the highway patrol or to local law enforcement.
▪ If the deer is injured, call SCDNR at (803) 734-3886 to locate a rehabilitator.
▪ Law enforcement officers may euthanize badly injured deer when they respond to the accident.
▪ If the carcass is obstructing traffic or along a public highway, the Department of Public Works can be called to remove it.
▪ If the deer is freshly killed, it can be given to a charitable institution or kept by the finder as long as there is an incident report from law enforcement officials who responded.
Warning: The dashcam video included is graphic.
Lisa Wilson: 843-706-8103