Don't Veer for Deer: Alarming statistics show thousands of accidents in Iowa involve deer
In the last year, 1 in 73 people here in Iowa reported hitting a deer and that number has increased.
In the last two years there have been over 10,000 accidents in Iowa involving deer and other animals.
Those 10,000 accidents have lead to over $6 million dollars in damage.
In Woodbury County alone, that number is approaching 200 accidents.
"We do see animal strikes all the time and it doesn't matter where it's at, interstates, county roads, rural highways, it does happen in every instance. So we want to makes sure people are using those good defensive driving skills, making sure they are aware of their surroundings and making sure they aren't being distracted," said Iowa State Trooper John Farley.
Iowa ranks as the fourth highest state in which coming into a collision with a deer is possible, at a 1 in 69 chance.
And while deer are something we are certainly use to here in Iowa, raccoons, dogs, turkeys, and coyotes round out the top five animals most hit on roadways.
"Please watch out for turkeys, we have a large turkey population here in Northwest Iowa, make sure again that you may think this is just a regular Thanksgiving sized animal but it's not," Farley said. "If it's on the road or even flying at that time and it strikes that windshield, it's going to be a severe impact."
While most of these accidents take place on highways across the state, interstates can be just as dangerous.
Over 1,000 animal related accidents have happened on interstate roads in Iowa the past two years.
"When you strike a deer at speed, if you're at highways speed or interstate speed it's going to obviously cause a lot of damage and unfortunately it will cause some injuries and in the rare cases even fatalities from animal strikes," said Farley.
Finally, Trooper Farley wanted to remind people of the catchy slogan that we've all have heard... 'Don't Veer for Deer."
"If you see that animal you know obviously brake if you can but don't swerve into another oncoming lane. It is best just to maintain your course, you know, go through that deer strike or that animal strike and continue on."
For those who were wondering what the chances of hitting a deer were in South Dakota and Nebraska, they are 1 in 134 for Nebraska and 1 in 73 for South Dakota.