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A price too dear; car accidents with deer

When driving on the roads and highway surrounding Knoxville, there many opportunities to encounter deer. You don't have to head up into the hills of the Smokies to find them. In fact, through all of Tennessee, you run a good chance of seeing deer along or crossing roads.

And while the greatest risks for motorists typically come later in fall, when the deer become more active in mating season, there are always a great many deer about, and drivers need to be alert at all times, as the cost of a car accident involving a deer can be much more than you want to pay.

Across the state in Nashville, a TV station found there had been eight car crashes involving deer in the last week in Davidson County. One man reported he struck a deer on his way to work at 5:30 am near a golf course, and the damage from the accident was calculated at $3,500.

It is estimated that there are 900,000 deer in the state, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. They are most active around dawn and dusk, and because they face limited predation, the population continues to grow.

When you are on narrow, two-lane roads with woods and brush, you need to exercise caution, especially if it is dark and your visibility is limited. Don't overdrive your headlights, and pay attention to the edges of the woods.

If you see a few deer in an area, slow down, as they often travel in herds.

In addition to damage to your vehicle, there are regular reports of people being killed when the deer they strike crash through the windshield. The new story reports this tragically occurred a few years ago near Nashville, killing an 8-year-old girl. 

Source:, "Car accidents involving deer increasing," August 12, 2014

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