Darting deer across Bullock County roadways account for the deer-vehicle collisions. This is a growing problem throughout Alabama and the nation. The deer population in America has exploded.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are about 1.5 million deer-vehicle collisions annually. These collisions cause 150 deaths, thousands of injuries, and more than $1 billion in property damage.
Most of the vehicles' damage is to the front, side or windshield, and could have secondary damage. Some cars are a total loss.
The number of these deer-vehicle collisions increases in winter because the colder it gets, the more deer move. They are most active during dusk and dawn hours of the day. They are also more on the move during mating season, which is October through January.
There is little a driver can do to prevent a deer from hitting the vehicle because deer dart on the highway with no warning, giving the driver only a few seconds to react. If a driver tries to avoid hitting the deer and hits a tree, a guardrail, a vehicle, or rolls over, "collision insurance" will pay.
I have had two collisions with a deer, causing over $3,000 repair costs each time. My insurance deductible is $100, and insurance pays 80% for renting a car to drive. However, the repaired damage to the vehicle will affect the trade-in value.
One deer hit my car around 11:00 p.m. near the Fitzpatrick Post Office, rolling across the vehicle's hood and leaving part of an antler in the hood. The other deer hit my car on Sunday morning near Union Springs as I was driving to church.
It hit the passenger side of my car in the rear. I had no physical injuries either time, but these caused a constant "fear" of what a deer-collision can do. I was told about a woman in Midway who was kicked to death by a deer coming through the windshield.
My eyes are always hunting for deer as I drive, but it is too late to stop when I see one. I see them as they leap in front of the car, or they stand on the side of the highway watching the vehicle. And there are sometimes more than one, even a group.
I am saying all of that to show reasons I appreciate so much the annual deer hunts by the local Conecuh Springs Christian School, thereby decreasing the numbers that can cause deer-vehicle collisions.
Faye Gaston, Union Springs