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Information Articles for the Paris TN and Henry County Tennessee area

Tennessee Highway Patrol Urges Motorists to Watch Out for Deer

November 3, 2017 | Email This Post Print This Post
 

Tennessee Highway Patrol - THPNashville, TN – The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) cautions motorists to watch out for deer on or near the roadways.  An increase in deer related crashes is more likely during November-December due to deer mating and hunting season.

“Deer related crashes can be a very serious and dangerous incident,” THP Colonel Tracy Trott said.  “Deer pose a danger to motorists throughout the year, especially in the fall.  Stats show November is typically the worst month for deer-related crashes. It is important for motorists to exercise caution, slow down and remain alert in areas where deer are present.”

November-December worst time for deer related crashes

November-December worst time for deer related crashes

In Tennessee from 2012 and 2016, 6.4 percent of deer related crashes occurred on state highways. 

In 2016, there were 7,219 deer related crashes including 330 that involved injuries and one that was fatal. That’s a 3.8 percent increase from 6,955 the previous year.  Since 2011, deer related crashes in Tennessee have increased 26.7 percent.  

As of October 31st, 2017, there have been 4,223 deer involved traffic crashes across the state.

October through December is prime mating months for deer.  This causes deer to be less aware causing motorists to pay extra attention to deer darting directly in front of traffic.  Attached are deer related crash stats for the last five years.

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security (TDOSHS) and the Tennessee Highway Patrol suggest the following tips to help prevent deer related crashes during peak mating and hunting seasons particularly at dawn and dusk:

  • When you see deer cross the road, expect more to follow.  Many times, the second or third deer crossing becomes the one that motorists hit;
  • Be attentive and drive defensively constantly scanning the roadside, especially at dawn and dusk;
  • Do not swerve to avoid contact with deer. This could cause the vehicle to flip or veer into oncoming traffic causing a serious crash. Swerving can also confuse the deer as to where to run;
  • When you spot a deer, slow down immediately.  Proceed slowly when passing;
  • If you do collide with a deer, never approach the animal.  They are powerful and can cause bodily harm to a human.  Report any deer collision, even if the damage is minor.

In the event of a deer crash, move the vehicle as far off the road as possible and dial *THP (*847). The call will be connected to the nearest THP communications center, and a state trooper will be dispatched to the location.

Tennessee law allows deer killed in a collision to be taken and used as food, as long as you contact the nearest Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) regional office and report the accident within 48 hours. For a list of TWRA regional offices, visit the website at www.tnwildlife.org

Statewide Deer Involved Crashes by Month, 2012 – 2016
Crash Month 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 5 Yr. Total Average (Month)
January 460 431 495 498 505 2,389 477.8
February 310 336 421 273 410 1,750 350.0
March 229 331 364 339 319 1,582 316.4
April 272 368 313 355 339 1,647 329.4
May 330 368 353 507 429 1,987 397.4
June 428 485 397 514 472 2,296 459.2
July 313 285 298 370 390 1,656 331.2
August 261 293 279 303 293 1,429 285.8
September 296 318 275 343 396 1,628 325.6
October 792 677 709 771 933 3,882 776.4
November 1,496 1,417 1,659 1,694 1,804 8,070 1,614.0
December 770 880 867 988 929 4,434 886.8
Total 5,957 6,189 6,430 6,955 7,219 32,750 6,550.0
               
               
Statewide Deer Involved Traffic Crashes by Crash Type, 2012 – 2016
Crash Type 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Total  
Fatal 3 2 1 0 1 7  
Injury 311 283 306 351 330 1,581  
PDO 5,643 5,904 6,123 6,604 6,888 31,162  
Total 5,957 6,189 6,430 6,955 7,219 32,750  
               
Source: Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security; TITAN 10/31/2016.  

 

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s (www.TN.Gov/safety) mission is to serve, secure, and protect the people of Tennessee.

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