Deer collisions biggest hazard for holiday travelers this year

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) — Clear, dry roads made for some smooth holiday travel this year, but there’s one hazard that’s always lurking this time of the year; deer.

On average, one in 69 Iowa drivers will hit a deer on the roads, according to a State Farm report last year.

Trent Thompson, operations manager for Bob Mickey Collision Center, said it’s always something to look out for.

“It’s been a normal year for deer hits.  It was a little bit later in the season that we saw our influx of deer hits because of the rain,” said Thompson.

A normal year still equals hundreds of deer crashes all over Iowa. The Iowa DOT tracks these accidents and pinpoints them on a map.

State Patrol Trooper, Bob Conrad, said they tend to happen in the same areas.

“I could tell you a dozen spots along I-380 where deer will cross the road and we’ll cover, the majority are crashes.”

Deer follow the same trails and paths so, if you see a deer or even some road kill, make note of it.

“If you see a deer somewhere, the next time you go through there, don’t just forget about where that deer was. Remember ‘hey, I saw a deer here, there could be another one coming through the area’,” said Conrad.

State Patrol also cautions drivers in areas near creeks with heavy timber lines. Either way, a deer hit is going to cost you, but to make sure it doesn’t cost your life, don’t veer for deer.

“When you’re in your lane, if you get on your brakes as quick as you can, reduce your speed as fast as you can and maintain control of your vehicle, that’s honestly the safest thing you can do,” said Conrad.

If you do hit a deer, remember to asses the damage before driving away and get a tow, if you see any red flags.

“Make sure you are somewhere safe.  Get way off the road or, if you can, drive it far enough to a side road, somewhere safe. Then check for leaks.  Then also make sure your tires aren’t rubbing on anything, or the bumper isn’t rubbing against the wheel,” said Thompson.

Ashley Neighbor

Ashley Neighbor

Reporter, Cedar Rapids
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