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Deer auto collisions on the rise - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Deer auto collisions on the rise

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By Nicole Johnson  bio | email | twitter

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Deer vehicle collisions are on the rise, and now that hunting season is in full swing for some parts of the state drivers should use caution.

Hunting, mating, and migration season is happening now and during the fall and winter months. Drivers should watch out for these quick creatures darting into the road.

Michael Cordray's family has taxidermy and meat processing service, and he says many deer he sees have been hit by a car before.

"They just seem to be resilient in their healing process. You have a carcass that a hunter brings in and you can see where the bones have healed," Cordray said.

The South Carolina Insurance News Service says deer-auto collisions are on the rise with 3,427 collisions in 2007 and 3,549 in 2008. Deaths and injuries have decreased.

Statistics show Charleston County tops the list for the number of deer-collisions statewide with 270 last year.

There is a device that could scare deer away as you're driving down the road. We found a warning whistle at the Tractor Supply Company in Summerville.

"You put them on the bumper and the deer can hear it, but the owners don't. You travel at a rate of 30 miles an hour to make it effective," Tractor Supply manger Phil Vanderploeg said.

In addition to a whistle, Drivers can do the following:

-Be extra careful driving early morning and late night.

-If you see one deer, watch for others.

-Blow your horn to scare them.

-Use you high beams to better reflect their eyes.

-Most importantly. Don't swerve if you think you'll hit it. Brake firmly and stay in your lane.

If you swerve you could lose control, hit a tree, or another car.

"Keep a steady line of travel because they're moving really quickly, they're going to try to get out of your way," Cordray said.

The Insurance News Service says average deer-collision claim cost more than $1,700. Deer or animal collisions are covered under the comprehensive part of automobile insurance policies.

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