Better keep an eye out for deer on Putnam roadways

Thursday, September 29, 2016

While deer hunting season -- at least the archery portion -- is set to begin Saturday, Oct. 1, deer season on Hoosier highways is well under way.

But if youíre a regular reader of the Putnam Scanner, you already knew that.

In fact, in todayís edition, two of the four accidents reported by the Putnam County Sheriffís Department involved deer -- or possibly even an antelope, as one driver told police.

Itís a growing problem, and according to at least one expert prediction, itís about to get worse.

New claims data from State Farm insurance predicts that Indiana drivers are nearly five percent more likely to collide with a deer than they were last year.

The odds that a driver will hit a deer in Indiana are 1 out of 136, significantly above the national odds of 1 in 164.

And this is actually just the beginning as the months in which Hoosiers are most likely to collide with a deer normally coincide with the mating season of October, November and December.

State Farm suggests tips that could help drivers avoid becoming a statistic:

-- Pay attention to deer crossing signs.

-- Use your high beams, when possible, to see farther.

-- Be aware of increased risk of a collision with deer occurring around dawn and dusk.

-- Brake if you can, but avoid swerving, which could result in a more severe crash.

-- Avoid distractions, like devices or eating, which might cause you to miss seeing an animal.

-- Do not rely on products such as deer whistles, which are not proven effective.

Drivers are encouraged to be on the lookout at all times, because you never know when you may need to react to a deer or other obstacle that may unexpectedly appear in your path.

Indiana ranks 23rd in deer crashes among the 50 states. Thatís one national category in which we certainly donít wish to move up.