Motorists urged to use caution on roads during deer season

Motorists urged to use caution on roads during deer season

AUTAUGA CO., AL (WSFA) - Sitting in the back lot of a car body repair shop in Prattville, Alvin Wigfall examined the damage done to a Hyundai Sonata.

"See, animal hair," said Wigfall, as he points to the hair on the hood of the damaged car. The driver struck a large deer somewhere nearby.

"Against the hood, the fender and the door," said Wigfall who is the Damage Assessment Manager for Joe Hudson's Collision Center.

'Tis the season.

Alabama State Trooper Jesse Thornton remembers a deer actually striking a motorcyclist instead of the other way around on the Alabama River Parkway not long ago.

"It caused severe injuries to the point I thought he was going to lose his life. The cooler temperatures are moving in and the deer are moving," said Thornton.

November is said to be peak season for deer collisions early in the morning and late afternoon. Between July of 2016 and June of 2017, State Farm reported close to 30,000 auto claims from drivers hitting a deer in Alabama alone.

"It appears the deer came in from this direction," Wigfall said as he pointed to the front of the car.

The damage can be major and sometimes deadly, but thankfully that was not the ending in this case. Wigfall said the repair job will cost around $6,000. In terms of national rankings, Alabama is close to the middle of the pack, 23rd in the nation in deer-car collisions.

While there are devices on the market that might help a driver detect a deer down the road, Trooper Thornton advises the best protection lies in the prevention.

"Drive the speed limit, be aware of your surroundings and watch both sides of the road," he said.

So drivers, beware. You never what's waiting for you around the bend.

According to State Farm, West Virignia is leading the nation this year in the number of deer-car collisions.

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