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The Scoop

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File / The Journal Gazette

Verbatim: It’s deer season, on the road

Statement issued Monday:

Northeast Indiana – The Indiana State Police remind motorists that many property and personal injury crashes occur this time of year as the deer migrate from the fields to the roadways. Harvest season has started earlier than normal in Indiana this year, causing deer to move from field to field.

Each year in Indiana, several thousand dollars of damage occurs from vehicle-deer crashes. In many cases motorists can be severely injured or even killed when drivers panic and swerve to miss a deer, and then lose control of their vehicle and crash.

In 2009 there were 16,225 vehicle-deer crashes reported in Indiana, according to the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute. From January 1, 2010 – August 31, 2010 there have been 7,129 vehicle-deer crashes in Indiana. Below are the statistics for the nine counties that the Indiana State Police Post in Fort Wayne covers from January 1, 2009 through July 31, 2010.

County, Number of Car/Deer Crashes, Personal Injury, Fatal

  • Adams 134, 3, 0
  • Allen 743, 21, 1
  • DeKalb 431, 6, 0
  • Huntington 338, 4, 0
  • LaGrange 354, 4, 0
  • Noble 527, 6, 1
  • Steuben 729, 9, 0
  • Wells 144, 2, 0
  • Whitley 199, 7, 0
  • Total 3,599, 62, 2
The Indiana State Police recommend the following driving techniques:

•When possible use high beam headlights at night and be aware that deer could be standing on or near the side of the roadway.

•Drivers should watch approaching vehicles to see if what interrupts their headlights beams could be a passing deer. This technique allows extra time to slow your speed and be alert for the deer.

•Look for reflections from the deer’s eyes.

•Where there is one deer there are often several. Do not assume you missed the deer because more could follow. BE ALERT!

•If your vehicle strikes a deer do not touch it. A frightened or wounded deer can cause you serious bodily injury. Remain in your car, make sure you and your passengers are safe, and call the police to obtain a crash report for your insurance company. You must report this as you would any other crash.

•Buckle your seat belt. Defensive driving and buckling up go a long way in not only vehicle-deer crashes, but also in general driving.

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