Experts warn of uptick in deer collisions in November
TRENTON, Tenn. — State officials have a warning for drivers that could keep you out of the body shop or worse. November is prime time for deer, so much so that state officials are issuing a warning to drivers to be prepared because more than likely you are going to encounter one while on the road. In 2014, there were more than 6,000 deer-related crashed in Tennessee, and one of those was a fatality. It is a serious, dangerous and expensive problem, and local body shops said this year has been worse than ever. “Twenty-five percent of our main business is deer collisions,” said Justin Dempsey, owner of FinishLine Auto Body. “It’s more than usual, and now it’s fixing to really be bad.” The Tennessee Highway Patrol said when you are behind the wheel early in the morning or late at night, that is when the most deer are out on the road. They suggest keeping both eyes on the road because when there is one deer there is always more that follow. Whether you are in a large truck or a small car, deer do not discriminate and cause plenty of damage either way. “Usually when you hit them on the front, they’ll roll down the side of the vehicle,” Dempsey said. “They’ll knock the mirrors off, and it sounds like you’re running over a concrete barrier.” With every dent and scrape you can see, mechanics said there is usually even more damage underneath. “Radiators and condensers, oil coolers and transmission coolers that are damaged that you don’t notice,” Dempsey said. “They’re out of sight and you don’t see them.” A number of body shops said they are averaging at least three or four deer collisions a week and expect that number to skyrocket throughout the month. On average, it costs anywhere from $2,000 to $6,000 for repairs. If you end up in a collision with a deer, you can call 847 on your cell phone and a state trooper will come assist you. Also in most cases you can keep the deer for food if you alert the TWRA.