As September drifts into October, drivers in Missouri need to be watching the side of the road for something more than the colors of the trees and shrubs. Drivers need to stay alert for the presence of deer.
But for the next 12 months, an insurance company calculates that the odds of a driver in Missouri striking a deer has declined by eight percent from last year. That is a good thing, because the state ranks 18th for car accidents involving collisions with a deer.
The drop brings the odds of a deer collision down to 1 out of 124, as compared to the national average of 1 out of 169. We can be grateful we do not have to drive in West Virginia, where the odds are 1 out of 39.
While many drivers may think the worst part of a collision is the inconvenience of having to take your vehicle to the shop for repairs, in 2012, car accidents involving animals caused 175 fatalities. And deer are the most common animal hit by a vehicle.
Striking an object the size of a full-grown buck is very dangerous and even drivers of large pickup trucks and SUVs are at risk, as the animals can be thrown through the windshield and kill a driver.
Missouri drivers are benefiting at the expense of Missouri hunters, as the deer population in the state has been suffering from EHD (epizootic hemorrhagic disease), which has caused a significant loss of deer.
The hours around dusk are the most dangerous as that is when the deer are most active, as is late fall, during rutting season. Drivers should watch the side of the road; if you see one deer, slow down and use caution, as there are likely to be more deer in the area.