Tuesday, Dec 10, 2013
Saline County Sheriff Warns Drivers to Watch for Deer
HARRISBURG -- Saline County Sheriff Keith Brown is warning drivers to watch for deer while behind the wheel.
According to statistics from State Farm Insurance, one out of every 213 drivers in Illinois will hit a deer. For June 2012 - June 2013, the state was projected to have more than 39,000 deer-related crashes.
Sherrod's Collision Center in Harrisburg is seeing a boost in business recently.
"We really noticed about the last two weeks vehicles that had to be hauled in for radiator damage, air conditioning, and stuff that was undrivable," says owner Wes Sherrod.
It's a surge that's typical this time of year, due to deer-related incidents. Sherrod says he sees as many as 10 crashes a week connected to deer, and it won't slow down until after the new year.
"We all forget that they're out there. And unfortunately, as soon as we forget, that's when we're going to hit one of them."
Sherrod says in November numbers could double, jumping up to 20 vehicles a week with deer-related damage. He says the average cost of repairs is around $3500. "They'll actually run up into maybe $10,000 to $15,000. And that's if they blow an airbag or severe damage."
Saline County Sheriff Keith Brown attributes the higher number of crashes to the fact that deer are moving a lot this time of year. The change in temperature, farmers cutting grain, and bow hunting season keep the animals active.
"At dawn and at dusk we see an increase of the deer moving and then we see an increase of the accident picture," explains Sheriff Brown.
Three years ago the county put up signs to keep drivers aware. Brown says the key is slowing down and paying attention.
"The more that we've slowed down, the more that we're looking. The more that we're aware, the better chance that we've got at having a period of time that we don't have those collisions."
Sheriff Brown also says to be careful when changing lanes to avoid hitting a deer. He says sometimes that can actually cause a more serious wreck.
Wind: 9 MPH
Humidity: 68 %