VIGO CO, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — As the weather warms up, drivers are asked to be more cautious of deer on the roadways. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources said the months of June and July often see an increase in vehicle vs deer accidents due to more fawns being out.
Here in Vigo County, data from the state shows in 2021 there were 193 accidents, an increase of 10 from the previous year.
To see a full report of incidents reported from across the state, click on this link.
State Biologist, Joe Caudell, said most collisions happen during the breeding season which is from September to December.
“The data is fairly consistent, we have the same number of deer-vehicle collisions this year as we had in the previous years. That peak typically occurs during that breeding season,” He added.
According to a report done by Indiana DNR, nearly 50% of all reported wrecks in the Hoosier State happened between September-December.
The total number of deer-vehicle collisions reported across the state decreased from 15,559 in 2019 to 14,325 in 2020.
These commonly happen on state and county roads, and in areas surrounded by woods and a cornfield.
Clay County reported 79 incidents last year, an increase from the 68 reported in 2020. Sullivan County saw a rise also, there were 135 crashes in 2020 and 157 in 2021.
Knox County saw a decline, 117 in 2020 and 113 last year.
“One thing we always consider is how much are people driving? We actually use another common statistic, where we look at the number of collisions per billion miles traveled,” Caudell stated.
Sergeant Matt Ames with the Indiana State Police said drivers should not try to swerve or run off the roadway if they see a deer crossing. Instead, slow down to avoid the animal or just strike the deer.
“We do see a lot more damage done to vehicles that have run off the roadway and hit a utility pole or hit a tree. Sometimes we have to work fatal accidents because someone was trying to not hit a deer and hit something that had no give,” Ames added.
If you hit a deer, drivers should pull off to the side of the road, turn on their emergency lights and call local enforcement.
“It’s important you make yourself visible for other motorists,” Ames said.
In Indiana, if you kill a deer with your car you can get a permit to have the animal processed. Otherwise, the animal may be donated for its meat or the roadkill will be moved after a certain amount of time.
“Make sure you’re paying attention, make sure you’re looking for those deer that are crossing the road. If you see a deer, you’re going to see multiple deer so make sure you’re ready to slow down or stop,” He stated.