Contributing author Joey Slaughter is the owner of Blue Ridge Transport, LLC. A Ringgold, VA based carrier. Joey started his company in 2010 after serving time as an unhappy employee with a local trucking company. The time spent there was not fun but, in hindsight, was a turning point that propelled Joey into the wonderful world of being an entrepreneur. Please visit JoeySlaughter.net for more insightful blogging.
Striking a deer is very costly and something we need to avoid. It’s even dangerous for car drivers and motorcycle riders where an average of200 people are killed each year. We can’t always avoid deer, however, we can equip ourselves with knowledge of their patterns and crash data to help predict when the next one may jump out in front of your truck.
State Farm’s data shows that November, the heart of the deer migration and mating season, is the month during which deer-vehicle encounters are most likely. More than 18 percent of all such mishaps take place during the 30 days of November. While driving in November, you’re three times more likely to hit a deer than the months February through August. Armed with that information, prepare for deer in the roadway starting now. Drive slower, dim dash lights, turn off GPS if not navigating and reduce nighttime driving if possible to reduce a deer strike risk.According to State Farm, the top 10 states with the most likelihood of a deer strike are:
- West Virginia
- South Dakota
- North Dakota
If the states you primarily operate in aren’t listed, go to this link to see where they rank.
While researching this subject, I found that the Iowa State University Institute of Transportation is taking this problem very seriously. They currently head up theDeer Vehicle Crash Information and Research Center (DVCIR) which pools together data from other states and work with the Federal Highway Administration which is the lead agency. Through their studies, they’re finding better ways to reduce deer strikes by
- In-Vehicle Technologies
- Deer Whistles
- Roadway Lighting
- Speed Limit Reduction
- Deicing Salt Alternative
- Deer-Flagging Models
- Intercept Feeding
- Deer Crossing Signs and Technologies
- Roadside Reflectors and Mirrors
- Hunting or Herd Reduction
- Public Information and Education
- Roadside Vegetation Management
- Exclusionary Fencing
- Roadway Maintenance, Design, and Planning Policies
- Wildlife Crossings
Hopefully this blog provided you with a little more knowledge regarding the likelihood of deer strikes. Arm yourself with this knowledge and know the area you’re driving in and the dangers that may be around the next corner. Above all, be safe!