It's that time of year again in Pennsylvania – the time when deer seem to take over the roads and pose increased danger to drivers. PennDOT says there were 2,930 serious deer-related car accidents last year, the most in a single year since the agency began keeping records. It looks like 2010 could be another record-setting year as the deer population is higher than it has been in the past two years.
In western Pennsylvania, Westmoreland County has the highest number of deer-related accidents, with 475 over the last five years. Indiana County had 143 and Fayette County had 93. The most dangerous areas of the three counties are:
The number of Pennsylvanians involved in deer-related accidents is actually much higher than PennDOT reports because the agency only counts crashes in which a vehicle needs to be towed or someone is injured. If less serious incidents are included, the number of accidents rises to more than 100,000, according to State Farm Insurance.
This time of year is particularly dangerous, as deer are less cautious during their mating season and hunters are taking to the woods for the beginning of small-game season. PennDOT urges drivers to drive defensively and stay alert, especially when driving between dusk and dawn.