News 12 at eleven o'clock -- Friday, October 22, 2010
COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. --- Chances are, you've seen them standing by the side of the road. And at any moment, one could run in front of your car.
So how do you avoid a deer collision? Between the months of October and December, that's not always an easy task. Those three months are the highest for deer accident activity. October marks the beginning of mating season and hunting season, where more deer are on the move.
When it comes to deer car damage, Sandy Youmans has seen her fair share.
"I was going around a curve and this pregnant doe and a big buck came out at the same time," she says. "Before I realized it, I had hit both of them."
Then, just four months later, it happened again.
"All I could do was just throw my arm across my little boy and just hold him and just hope he didn't go through the window," she remembers.
Both collisions left Sandy looking at more than $8,000 worth of repairs.
"It does cause a lot of damage," says Stephen Kendrick, co-owner of Kendrick Paint and Body Shop.
He says deer damaged cars drive their business up between October and December.
"We've had hoods crumple up, internal components crumple up, fenders crumple up," he describes. "And I've also seen them where they've been pushed into the windshield of the vehicle."
In Columbia County, animal services stays busy with calls from drivers.
"Typically in the summer months, we may pick up one to two deer a week," says field supervisor Daniel Mayne. "Here lately though, it's been three to four deer a day."
But it's not just the rural highways or wooded areas. Busier roads are also seeing hits. Several hits on Evans to Locks Road and Furys Ferry Road have been reported.
Mayne says drivers should take extra care around creeks, or any body of water where deer would gather to drink.
Also, watch out around construction areas. As bridges and other structures are built, that means less habitat for the deer. Grovetown and Martinez have seen more deer collisions in recent years because of the development in those areas.
If you find yourself close to hitting a deer, Mayne says do not swerve. Just brake steadily and hit the deer head-on if a collision is unavoidable.
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