It's deer collision season and they're up in Arkansas
CABOT (KATV) - Put it into perspective. The odds of someone winning ten dollars on Arkansas's "Fast 100" scratch off ticket are one in 299; chances of someone hitting a deer are one in 89. Despite the odds of drivers hitting deer going down nationwide, chances in Arkansas are up.
The men at Wilson's Paint & Body in Cabot are busy working on not one, not two, but three cars inside their shop right now - all the result of people hitting deer.
"Ninety percent of our business from October through December is deer hit accident jobs," said Ron Wilson, co-owner of Wilson's Paint & Body.
What Wilson said makes a lot of sense. This time of year is when most deer vs. car accidents happen.
"November, then October, then December are the three most dangerous months as far as deer collisions are concerned," said Gary Stephenson, spokesperson for State Farm Insurance.
Stephenson said it doesn't help that Arkansas ranks in the top ten states when it comes to deer hits in the nation.
"Arkansas ranks ninth in the nation in the number of deer collisions in terms of the ratio of drivers and numbers of accidents," said Stephenson.
You can blame the amount of accidents this time of year on primarily on deer hunting season. Stephenson claims deer spooked by gunshots and hunters will move herds into roadways and residential areas. But it's not just the hunt that has the deer on the move.
"It's mating season," said Stephenson. "The rut is going on and the animals are not concentrating on safety as much as other times of the year."
The Natural State's rural two lane roads are the places where someone is more likely to hit a deer, especially ones surrounded by heavily wooded areas. Collisions are more likely to occur in the early morning hours and later in the evening.
Front end deer damage, which is most of what Wilson said his shop sees, can run someone upwards of $10,000 for repairs. If a deer runs into the side panel, Wilson said that, "can be anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000 worth of damage."
Stephenson said State Farm estimates over 22,000 drivers hit deer in Arkansas from June 2012 to June 2013, totaling over $75 million in damage.
TIPS TO AVOID HITTING DEER
- Keep in mind that deer generally travel in groups - if you see one, there is a strong possibility others are nearby.
- Notice posted deer crossing signs. These are placed in active deer crossing areas.
- Remember that deer are most active between 6 and 9 p.m.
- Use high beam headlamps as much as possible at night to illuminate the areas from which deer will enter roadways.
- If a deer collision seems inevitable, attempting to swerve out of the way could cause you to lose control of your vehicle or place you in the path of an oncoming vehicle.
- Don't rely on car-mounted deer whistles.