Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Community News Network

October 1, 2013

Deer-auto crashes decline in U.S. as disease thins herd

Collisions tied to deer in the U.S. fell 3.5 percent as disease cut the population of the animals.

Deer-related vehicle crashes totaled 1.22 million in the 12 months ended June 30, according to a statement Monday from State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., the biggest U.S. car and home insurer.

There were "fewer deer to hit this year," Kip Adams, a director at the Quality Deer Management Association, a group that promotes sustainable hunting, said in an interview before the report was released. The population had been cut by car accidents in prior seasons "plus a lot of deer dying of disease," Adams said.

Crashes are most common in October and November, which are in the mating season for deer, the Bloomington, Illinois-based insurer said. Collisions cost an average of $3,414 in property damage nationwide, a 3.3 percent increase from a year earlier.

"We've seen up to $6,000," said Dave Huskey, who manages Minor Wreck Express, an auto repair business in Iowa. He said engineering advances have helped protect people inside the cars, though vehicles are still vulnerable to damage, often involving bumpers, side panels and windshields.

"The cars look worse because they're absorbing the impact rather than passing it on to the passengers," Huskey said in a telephone interview. "It takes a lot of damage to get inside the frame."

Reports of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease spiked in 2012 for deer from Louisiana to Montana. The virus spreads through biting flies, or midges, and causes fever and internal bleeding.

"With the tendency toward warmer, shorter winters, the midge is reaching higher levels," said Brent Rudolph, a wildlife research specialist with Michigan's Department of Natural Resources. The heat "creates conditions that are really good for the midges."

Rudolph said there were about 15,000 deaths reported from the disease in Michigan in the summer. That compares with "a few thousand" in prior years, he said.

West Virginia led the country for the seventh straight year as the state where motorists are most likely to hit a deer, according to the report. One in 41 drivers there will probably strike a deer in the next 12 months, the insurer said. Montana drivers are next most likely to crash, followed by vehicle operators in Iowa, South Dakota and Pennsylvania.

Hawaii has the lowest chance of collisions, with odds of about 1-in-6,787. New York drivers are the 24th most likely to have deer-related mishaps among the 50 states, with a 1-in-157 chance. California, Florida and Texas were all classified by the insurer as low-risk states.

"What we have are roads at the bottom of hills and ridge tops, and roads near streams and valleys," said James Anderson, director of West Virginia University's Environmental Research Center. "In other places there are more defined crossing areas, and here deer will cross just about anywhere."

West Virginia, known as the Mountain State, is heavily forested and has winding roads that decrease visibility for drivers and animals.

Deer are most active between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. and often travel in groups, meaning that if one is visible, drivers should be on guard for more nearby, State Farm said. If a collision seems inevitable, State Farm advises drivers to avoid swerving, which can cause loss of vehicle control and put other motorists at risk.

1
Text Only
Community News Network
  • To sleep well, you may need to adjust what you eat and when

    Sleep.  Oh, to sleep.  A good night's sleep is often a struggle for more than half of American adults.  And for occasional insomnia, there are good reasons to avoid using medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription.

    April 16, 2014

  • Doctors to rate cost effectiveness of expensive cancer drugs

    The world's largest organization of cancer doctors plans to rate the cost effectiveness of expensive oncology drugs, and will urge physicians to use the ratings to discuss the costs with their patients.

    April 16, 2014

  • Low blood-sugar levels make for grousing spouses

    Husbands and wives reported being most unhappy with their spouses when their blood-sugar levels were lowest, usually at night, according to research released this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Missing a meal, dieting or just being hungry may be the reason, researchers said.

    April 16, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 12.51.22 PM.png VIDEO: Toddler climbs into vending machine

    A child is safe after climbing into and getting stuck inside a claw crane machine at a Lincoln, Neb., bowling alley Monday.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • portraitoflotte.jpg VIDEO: From infant to teen in four minutes

    Dutch filmmaker Frans Hofmeester’s time lapse video of his daughter, Lotte — created by filming her every week from her birth until she turned 14 — has become a viral sensation.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Victimized by the 'marriage penalty'

    In a few short months, I'll pass the milestone that every little girl dreams of: the day she swears - before family and God, in sickness and in health, all in the name of love - that she's willing to pay a much higher tax rate.

    April 15, 2014

  • Allergies are the real midlife crisis

    One of the biggest mysteries is why the disease comes and goes, and then comes and goes again. People tend to experience intense allergies between the ages of 5 and 16, then get a couple of decades off before the symptoms return in the 30s, only to diminish around retirement age.

    April 15, 2014

  • treadmill-very-fast.jpg Tax deduction for a gym membership?

    April marks another tax season when millions of Americans will deduct expenses related to home ownership, children and education from their annual tax bill. These deductions exist because of their perceived value to society; they encourage behaviors that keep the wheels of the economy turning. So why shouldn't the tax code be revised to reward preventive health?

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • bomb1 VIDEO: A year after marathon bombing, Boston remains strong

    The City of Boston came together Tuesday to honor those who were injured and lost their lives at the Boston Marathon on the one-year anniversary of the bombing. While the day was sure to be emotional, those affected by last year's race are showing they won't let the tragedy keep them down.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Google acquires drone maker Titan Aerospace to spread Internet

    Google is adding drones to its fleets of robots and driverless cars.
    The Internet search company said it acquired Titan Aerospace, the maker of high-altitude, solar-powered satellites that provides customer access to data services around the world. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

    April 14, 2014

  • E-Cigarettes target youth with festivals, lawmakers say

    The findings, in a survey released Monday by members of Congress, should prod U.S. regulators to curb the industry, the lawmakers said. While e-cigarettes currently are unregulated, the Food and Drug Administration is working on a plan that would extend its tobacco oversight to the products.

    April 14, 2014

  • Search teams will send unmanned sub to look for missing Malaysian airliner

    Teams searching for a missing Malaysian airliner are planning for the first time to send an unmanned submarine into the depths of the Indian Ocean to look for wreckage, an Australian official leading the multi-nation search said Monday.

    April 14, 2014

  • Why Facebook is getting into the banking game

    Who would want to use Facebook as a bank? That's the question that immediately arises from news that the social network intends to get into the electronic money business.

    April 14, 2014

  • Screen shot 2014-04-11 at 4.49.09 PM.png Train, entertain your pets with these 3 smartphone apps

    While they may not have thumbs to use the phone, pets can benefit from smartphone apps designed specifically for them.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stepping forward: The real Colbert

    Letterman changed the late-night TV game between his run on NBC's "Late Night" and starting the "Late Show" franchise in 1993. And while it's tough to replace a pop-culture icon, Colbert, in terms of pedigree and sense of humor, makes the most sense.

    April 11, 2014

Obituaries
Featured Ads
Poll

The Iowegian wants readers to think about food prices. Are you paying more than you were last year for certain food items? According to a survey by the American Farm Bureau Federation, "the cost of 16 food items" increased by 3.5 over 2013, as reported by the Des Moines Register. So, the question of the week is, "Are you feeling the food price increase pinch?"

A. Yes, and it hurts.
B. No, I don't feel a thing.
C. Not sure.
     View Results
Iowegian on Facebook