COLUMBUS, Ga- Fall starts this week, and with it, expect an increase in traffic in our area. We’re not talking about additional motorists; we’re talking about deer. Georgia is among the top 20 states where drivers collide with deer.
Woods and highways—and deer. We have a lot of them in our region. In Georgia, odds are one out of every 126 drivers could collide with a deer. It’s just a fact of life all year-round. Deer are a hazard. But fall is a time to be even more cautious on the highway.
Our fears are made of what lurks in the bushes, but each fall, danger comes in the most beautiful of packages.
“I usually see at least one deer a week, if not more. I’m starting to see a lot of mamas and babies, and every time I’ve a baby, there’s been at least two babies, sometimes three,” said Laura Griffeth, Ag and Natural Resources Agent for Webster and Stewart Counties.
Laura Griffeth as ag agent in Webster and Stewart Counties knows that deer can be a pest because they will graze on row crops, but she also understands — from personal experiences– the dangers they pose
“I’ve had two deer hit me, and I’ve actually hit one deer. So you just have to be super aware,” said Griffeth.
As we head into the fall, expect your chances of seeing them and crashing into one to be even greater
“State Farm anticipates between October and December we’ll have as many as 52,000 deer claims in 2016,” said State Farm Agent Connie Wilkes.
That’s because October to December is prime mating season for deer. They’re especially active during the night and early morning hours.
Connie Wilkes has been a State Farm Agent for 26 years and offers drivers these words of caution.
“If you see one deer, there’s going to be more. So you need to be very aware if one deer,” says Wilkes.
If you hit a deer and you’re alone, most insurance companies just require you call them and report it. They will likely consider it a comprehensive claim instead of a collision claim. That means a you pay a lower deductible. However, know your company and policy because some still require a police report.
If possible, when driving on rural roads, use your high beams so you are able to spot deer more easily. Keep your seat belt buckled, and also avoid distractions such as texting or eating while driving.