Oh Deer! It’s ‘Wild About Wildlife Month’

When it comes to traveling in the summer, sometimes many of us come across more wildlife wandering the roads.

So what can you do if your car collides with a wild animal?

Newswatch 16's Ryan Leckey tackled this topic as part of July as "Wild About Wildlife Month."

Ryan teamed up with the pros from PennDOT and Second Chance Wildlife Center to offer a few safety suggestions.

According to PennDOT and the U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration:

  • Approximately 26,000 injuries are caused by wildlife-vehicle collisions per year.
  • Approximately 200 fatalities are caused by wildlife-vehicle collisions per year.
  • Estimated cost in car repairs after a collision with a deer is $1,840.

WHAT TO DO IF YOUR CAR COLLIDES WITH AN ANIMAL AND IT DIES

  • If it is a state road, contact PennDOT at 1-800-FIX-ROAD.
  • If it is a locally owned road, contact your area's nearest PA Game Commission Office for removal. Head here for contact info.

WHAT TO DO IF YOUR CAR HITS AN ANIMAL AND IT LIVES

  • You can contact your local wildlife rehab center and ask them to send someone to pick the animal up, or ask for advice/guidance on how to handle the animal yourself.
  • If it is safe for yourself and the animal, carefully get it to your car and take it to a wildlife rehab center. Your safety is top priority.  Do not sacrifice your own safety for the animal. Use caution and personal discretion.

DRIVING TIPS

  • Experts say if an animal does run out in front of your car and a collision is unavoidable, use your breaks and remain in your lane (swerving to miss the animal can cause a more serious crash).
  • Use extra caution at dawn and dusk since animals are more active during these times.
  • Slow down when traveling through areas with a high and active wildlife population.