Each year there are about 2,400 deer/auto collisions in South Carolina. The average collision costs about $2,000 in car repairs.
Close to 50% of deer/vehicle collision occur in the months of October, November, December, and January. This is the mating season for deer. And while the deer population is much less than it was a few years ago, you should be ever vigilant for deer and other wildlife on rural and urban roads.
All deer/vehicle collisions are not preventable but you can lessen your chances of hitting a deer by
· Knowing most incidents occur from 5 to 7 AM and from 6 to 9 PM.
· Driving slowly in wooded areas and the edge of fields.
· Knowing deer like to cross near bridges, stream and ditches.
· Being extra cautious at night when visibility is poor.
· Knowing that if there is one deer, there are probably more.
· Increasing the distance between you and the car if front so you can avoid the crash if the other car hits the deer.
· Always being buckled up.
· Slowing down if you see a deer near the road and honk your horn and/or blink your lights.
· Know that the deer-crossing signs – yellow diamond with a deer shape – are placed for good reasons!
If you cannot avoid the deer, do not swerve. Just brake hard and hit the deer head on. Swerving can put you in the ditch, into a tree, or into the lane of oncoming traffic, resulting in much greater damage.
Do not try to help an injured animal. Stay in your car and dial *47.
Can you keep the dead deer for consumption purposes? Yes, if an incident report has been filed demonstrating the deer was killed by a vehicle and not illegally shot.