Ohio heads into peak time for deer-related crashes

Most deer-related crashes occur in late fall to early winter.

Deer | Open Road (Jaden Jefferson)

TOLEDO, Ohio — AAA and the state of Ohio want to remind motorists of the increase in deer-related traffic crashes this time of year.

Since 2016, statistics from the Ohio State Highway Patrol show there were 100,672 deer-related crashes on Ohio’s roadways. While 95% of deer-related crashes only resulted in property damage, 27 crashes resulted in fatal injuries to motorists, with 28 killed. Additionally, nearly half, 47%, of these crashes occurred in October, November, and December.

Some of the top counties for deer-related crashes include Stark, Richland, Lorain, Trumbull, and Hancock with I-71, US-30 and I-80 being the leading roadways in the state.

According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, deer become visibly active from late October through November. This is due in large part to the fall breeding season. While males pursue prospective mates throughout the season, they often encounter females that are not yet willing to breed, which can result in pursuits where deer will dart into roadways with little caution. This unpredictable movement leads to an increase in deer-related vehicle crashes. Drivers are encouraged to be extra cautious in areas where fencerows, riparian corridors, or other blocks of forested habitat intersect a roadway.

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