TRI-STATE (WFIE) - You may be starting to see more deer on or near the road.
It’s mating and hunting season and deer are on the move, especially during dawn and dusk.
Indiana State Police Sgt. Todd Ringle and the experts at Lefler Collision say the most important thing to do is defy our instincts and do NOT swerve.
“If you swerve, 9 out of 10 times you’re gonna have more damage to your vehicle and most likely you’re gonna be injured and maybe even killed,” ISP Sgt. Ringle said.
Josh Lefler, of Lefler Collision and Glass, said the damage from hitting a deer is comparable to colliding with another vehicle depending on speed.
“Slow down, use your brights as much is possible," Sgt. Ringle said. "But the rule of thumb is stay in your lane and never veer, because if you veer or swerve at highway speeds you’re going to lose control and you’re gonna strike another object off the roadway. And that’s when people are injured and in some cases even killed.”
Lefler said they have seen a big increase in the number of deer related crashes since the start of November. He said the Maxwell Ave. location alone has had between 5 and 10 a week.
“I’ve got two vehicles right now with us and both deer collisions and I’ve got two or three more in the shop already,” Lefler said.
Collisions with deer can rack up thousands of dollars worth of damage. But the most critical factor is the driver’s safety.
“So the general rule of thumb if you strike a deer: it’s always best to call 911. A police officer will go out, look at the damage, and we will determine whether a crash report is necessary or not,” Sgt. Ringle said.
But the most important takeaway, Ringle said, “stay in your lane, don’t swerve.”