Deer Leaps Over Squad Car in Jackson County, Missouri


Dashboard video from a Jackson County Deputy Sheriff’s squad car showing deer leaping over hood.

KMBC: “Important to keep your eyes peeled … Missouri State Highway Patrol says last year someone was killed or injured in accidents involving deer about once a day.”

CNN reported in November, 2006 that automobile collisions with deer impose a significant cost on the economy. In the U.S., about 1.5 million deer-vehicle collisions occur each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Those accidents cause about 150 deaths and $1.1 billion in property damage annually.

Ironically, a woman in Kildeer, Illinois was killed when a deer that was struck by an oncoming car was projected through her windshield.  Medical trauma specialists report that injuries to humans are very traumatic when deer enter the passenger compartment of the vehicle. Antlers can cause serious puncture wounds and even decapitation of the driver and passengers. Contamination of human wounds from blood, fur and fleas from the deer are also a serious medical issue for accident survivors.

When the animal does not enter the passenger compartment, there are surprisingly and often serious injuries similar to “routine” collisions with other vehicles; such as neck and back strain, chest, face and arm burns and broken ribs or broken wrists from airbag deployment; and broken bones from other impact forces.

Ten states with the most deer crashes between
June 1, 2005 and June 30, 2006 (State Farm’s claim statistics*) …

Pennsylvania
Michigan
Illinois
Ohio
Georgia
Virginia
Minnesota
Texas
Indiana
South Carolina

* The incidents in the ten states account for more than half of all deer claims nationwide.

Deer accidents with vehicles occur most frequently during deer migration and mating season: October through December.

Tips to avoid deer-vehicle collisions:
Be extra aware of “Deer Crossing” signs.
Use high-beam headlights as much as possible.
Keep your peripheral vision active in treelines and prairies to the sides of the road.
When you see deer, slow down immediately if possible … don’t expect them to yield.
When you see one deer, be ready for more to follow … they travel in packs.
Be prepared for erratic action from the deer, including deceleration of the deer in your headlights.
If collision is inevitable, don’t swerve violently … you could lose control, roll, or hit a tree or oncoming vehicle.
Do not get near the deer, even if it is lying injured or appears to be unconscious. It could thrash, kick or get up suddenly and cause serious injury or death to bystanders.
Don’t rely on Deer Whistles.

Helpful sources:
CNN Worst states for auto-deer crashes
State Farm: Midwestern States Among Most Dangerous for Vehicles Striking Deer
State Farm: Deer-Vehicle Collisions on the Rise State Farm