More deer crossing the roads equals more problems for drivers in North Carolina.
Drivers should take extra care on North Carolina’s roads this winter. The state’s Wildlife Resource Commission says that mating season is to blame—deer are less skittish about crossing roads and encroaching on human territory.
It’s not just deer that pose a problem. Bears are also a serious risk to themselves and drivers. Experts say that black bearsin North Carolina are harder to see in the dark. They also tend to get stuck in the median.
The damage from an animal strike can be substantial, as everyone knows. More problematic though, is the possibility of losing control of the car. According to Jan Black, owner of a local body shop in Asheville N.C., the damage from striking a deer can run to about $1,500, and a black bear can cause even more damage.
The total annual damage from accidents with deer is substantial. North Carolina sees 20,000 accidents a year. Between 2008 and 2011 those accidents caused 3,400 injuries, 17 deaths, and $136 million in damages. The North Carolina Department of Transportation urges that drivers be especially careful between the hours of 5 and 7 p.m., when deer are most active.