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Car & Deer Collisions Expected To Rise

Breeding season along with the corn harvest bring more deers out of the wild and crossing the roads

Rockford, Illinois-Cars own the road, but sometimes animals can be intrusive. White-tailed deer find themselves crossing the roadway. 

At Summerfield Zoo in Belvidere, they only have Reindeer, but there's good reason to why you'll be seeing deer more often.

"The deer are in the roadways more this time of year because it is the time for rut to start,” said zoo owner,Rick Anderson. “Rut is the time the breeding season begins.”

According to a 2010 study, your chances of hitting a deer in:

 Iowa: 1 in 67

 Wisconsin:1 in 95

 Illinois: 1 in 218

"General rule of thumb is when the farmers start picking corn is when we start seeing them,” said Dan Powell, of Gerber Collision & Glass. “Anywhere from now, until the spring time we see a majority of the accidents."

When a car hits a deer, it’s primarily cosmetic damage that is done. At Gerber, they say the price for repair can range from $2,500 and up. At low impact, it could be as simple as getting a new bumper.

"If there are big cracks, long cracks, especially in a curved area, replace it and throw it away," said Powell.

Avoiding deer is the best approach but when you can't, don’t swerve. 

"Usually you're better off just hitting the deer,” said Powell. ”You're less likely to get injured from oncoming traffic or going off the side of the road."

If you see one deer, be alert. They travel in herds and there's probably more. If you can turn on your high beams at night, that will maximize your visibility. Most importantly, slow down in known deer areas.

"Males will be chasing females around, maybe even males around,” said Anderson. “They're trying to chase away competition to keep the other one out of the way so they may run into the road a few times."

You can also visit a repair shop and purchase a deer whistle that installs on the bumper. Those are relatively cheap and can help scare deer away with a high-pitched sound.

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