Deer Related Car Crashes On the Rise

Lynchburg, VA - It's late at night, you're driving home, and just over the hill there it is, a deer! They're everywhere; we found out why, and what you've got to do to make sure they don't destroy your car, or worse, put you in the E.R.

The average cost of damage from hitting a deer is more than $3,000. That's nothing though, because these things can put you in the hospital, costing you thousands, perhaps even your life.

And this year, expect to see a lot of them.

Lynchburg Police say the driver of a car on Route 460 swerved to avoid hitting a deer Tuesday night and wound up in the E.R.

"Sometimes I honk at them, sometimes I just try to get by them, slow down and try to get by them" said one man.

"All the time, mostly in the morning and late in the evenings; There's too many, the population of deer, they need to control it" said another.

That is exactly right. According to the Virginia Cooperative Extension office, hunting of deer has dropped 8% state-wide. That's led to a population boom.

"There are more deer in the state of Virginia today, than when Thomas Jefferson was here" said Dan Laslie, the owner of Laslie Auto Body Shop.

Laslie says there are 6,000 in the city of Lynchburg alone. And he should know. He's also a hunter.

"We see them 52 weeks out of the year. This is your typical crash that happens when they try to avoid a deer" he said.

The driver of an SUV in Laslie's lot swerved to avoid hitting a deer. They rolled their car, it wound up being totaled.

And the number of deer related collisions is only increasing. According to State Farm Insurance, in 2012, they were up more than 7% nation-wide from the year before.

So what to do if you're driving towards a deer?

"It's better to hit the deer and not get hurt, than it is to miss the deer and get a total loss of the car and hurt somebody" said Laslie.

Laslie says you're much more likely to get injured if you swerve to avoid the deer than you are if you hit it. And get ready, because deer related collisions peak come October, when deer activity is at its highest.