Drivers across Texoma at increased risk of hitting a deer


WICHITA COUNTY, TX (KAUZ) - Right now deer are on the move across North Texas and it's putting drivers at risk. A survey by State Farm shows drivers in Texas have a one in 269 chance of hitting a deer from now until the rest of the year.

Right now it's an issue nearly every day across Texoma. Texas Highway Patrol Sergeant Dan Buesing said the worst areas are south of Wichita Falls near Graham and Jacksboro, as well as west into Baylor County. But he said it's everywhere and people need to know what to do to stay safe.

"They can come through windshields and cause severe damage to your vehicle," Sgt. Buesing said. "And they may cause you to crash. So be sure and pass it along to your kids that are young and teen drivers just to slow down. Slowing down is the main thing."

You are more than twice as likely to hit a deer in Texoma October through December.

"They are just kind of out and about moving around," he said. "This is their time of year to run around. That's why you see the uptick in the number of deer."

It's why Sgt. Buesing wants people to be prepared.

"When you are out and about a good way to keep safe is just slow down," he said. "The best thing is to slow down and keep your distractions down."

Sgt. Buesing also urges people to not swerve for their safety and the safety of others.

"A lot of times in a single-vehicle crash they will swerve to miss that deer, lose control, and the car may roll," Sgt. Buesing said. "If you are not buckled in you can be thrown from your car and you will have a fatality. That, unfortunately, has happened quite a bit this time of year."

State Farm Agent, Mike Morris, said they notice the increase in wrecks as well.

"This time of the year is when we see the highest probability of that," Morris said. "So we will probably see between seven to ten claims during these months."

Hitting a deer is also costly. The average claim is just over $4,000. That's why Morris encourages people to be insured.

"You're looking at what we call D One Coverage or Comprehensive Coverage," Morris said. "And that's where it's covered for any kind of animal collision."

Sgt. Buesing said it's a real problem that can happen to anyone.

"This time of year when we have so many family members out traveling doing activities, it does go through everyone's mind that it could be our family," Sgt. Buesing said. "When we get a call of a crash that's around our area and we know our family is out on the highway, it does run through your head that I hope it's not any of my friends or family."

Sgt. Buesing also urges drivers to be on the lookout for other motorists that swerve to miss a deer or hog and end up in your lane. He said many accidents from deer are caused that way.

Sgt. Buesing said it's safer to just hit a deer rather than swerve, not just because of the drivers around, but because cars are now made to handle large impacts. It might damage the car, but you are more likely to walk away unharmed.

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