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Le Mars, Iowa 51031
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Safety Tips to Remember to Avoid Deer Accidents






     Deer season can be a dangerous time for drivers, deer and car hoods. It is estimated that 1.6 million deer-vehicle collisions occur each year, resulting in 200 fatalities, thousands of injuries and over $3.6 Billion in vehicle damage.

     Plymouth County has begun to see the uptick in its share of deer collisions.     Sheriff Van Otterloo says the communications center has received 19 calls regarding deer collisions in the last 30 days. That number only reflects the accidents that have been reported; there are many that go unreported to law enforcement and are simply turned into the insurance companies. Fortunately, there have been no injuries reported.

     The sheriff says being prepared can help to prevent you from adding to the statistics. October through December is prime mating and migrating season, so drivers should be more alert during these months.

     These are some tips to avoid a deer accident:

  1. WATCH FOR THE REST OF THE GANG: Deer are pack animals, and rarely travel alone.   If a deer crosses in front of you, chances are there are more nearby.
  2. TIMING: Deer are most active at dusk and dawn, periods when your vision is most compromised. Slow down and stay alert, especially after dark.
  3. USE YOUR HEADLIGHTS: Look for road signs identifying high traffic areas for deer. Their eyes may also brightly reflect a car's headlights.
  4. BRAKE, DON'T SWERVE: Brake firmly and calmly, stay in your lane. Swerving could make you lose control of your vehicle and cause you to roll in the ditch or into the path of an on-coming vehicle.
  5. HONK: Some experts recommend that one long blast of the horn will scare the deer out of the road.

     If you are involved in a vehicle-related deer accident, call 911 to report the accident, especially if there is a road hazard or personal injury. State law requires that any accident resulting in property damage of $1500 or more, and/or it results in personal injury, must be reported to law enforcement. Many times insurance companies require a police report to support a damage claim.

     The Plymouth County Sheriff and his deputies remind all drivers to buckle up, travel at a safe and prudent speed, drive defensively, avoid distractions and STAY OFF YOUR CELL PHONES.


Sheriff Van Otterloo

October 30, 2019

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