Georgia Wildlife Resources Division
2070 U.S. Hwy. 278, SE, Social Circle, GA 30025
With an estimated 50,000 deer-car collisions annually in Georgia, leaders of the state’s wildlife, highway safety and insurance agencies are advising motorists to be cautious of increased deer sightings this fall.
“Deer are on the move during this time of year,” said Commissioner Mark Williams, Department of Natural Resources. “While motorists in rural areas may expect to see deer, Georgia’s suburban and urban areas can be prime spots as well.”
More than 300 people were injured when vehicles collided with deer in 2011, according to data provided by the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.
A total of 1,000 people across the country died in similar accidents between 2006 and 2010, according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“While deer are beautiful to watch in their natural environment, they can be unpredictable hazards for motorists on Georgia’s roads, especially now during their fall breeding season,” said Harris Blackwood, director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. “These hazards just underline the need for motorists to observe posted speed limits and wear their seatbelts.”
Even when passengers of a vehicle escape a collision with a deer unharmed, there are consequences.
"Automobile claims caused by contact with a deer generally rise dramatically in the fall," said Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens. "I encourage all Georgia drivers to check their automobile policy to determine if they have adequate coverage. This optional protection is commonly found in the comprehensive coverage of an automobile policy. "
“Hunting is oftentimes mistakenly blamed for increased deer-car collisions, but there are natural and human causes for their activity.” says Don McGowan, senior biologist with the DNR’s Wildlife Resources Division. “Changes in seasons and other factors lead to increased wildlife sightings.”
He points out three key factors:
The state agencies offer motorists some tips and information to help avoid potential collisions: