Local body shops see jump in deer-related damage

JACKSON, Tenn. — Troopers encourage drivers to watch out for deer due to mating and hunting season. The Tennessee Highway Patrol and local body shops said they see an increase in collisions this time of year.

Workers pieced cars back together Wednesday at David White Body Shop in Jackson. Manager David Hammers said they see an uptick in deer-related damage this time of year.

“Since Monday we’ve probably got six in already, and last week I think we had 10,” Hammers said.

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security said in 2016 the state had 7,219 deer-related crashes. Of those, 330 involved injuries and one turned deadly.

“If you hit them running 50 mph, they’re pretty much going to disable your vehicle,” Hammers said. “It’s going to bust the radiator, the AC condenser, the hood, both headlights, the front bumper.”

Hammers said a collision with a deer can cost customers an average of anywhere from $3,000 to $8,000.

Rob Hamilton, an agent with Farm Bureau Insurance in Jackson, said if you hit a deer, file a police report and file a claim with your insurance company. “We have to have information from you, where you were, the location, which vehicle you have insured that was damaged,” Hamilton said.

Hammers said he does not expect business to slack off anytime soon. “Right now we’re probably getting in the peak of it and it’ll probably be into December, first of January when it slows down a little bit,” he said.

Hammers said it could take up to two weeks to get your car fixed right now.

Hamilton said your out-of-pocket cost depends on your insurance.

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