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Car Vs. Deer Crashes on the Rise

Strongsville already leads the county in animal-related accidents

 

Oct 23: On West 130t Street -- Car hit deer; animal can't get up.

Oct. 23: On I-71 -- Dead deer in northbound fast lane at Royalton Road.

Oct. 23: On Pearl Road -- Small buck lying in right lane near the turnpike.

Oct. 22: On Drake Road -- Deer jumped off I-71 bridge and landed in road below. 

Hardly a day goes by this time of year without a deer-related collision in Strongsville, and it's bound to get worse in the next couple months.

October through January is mating season, which makes deer more active -- and more reckless.

That's bad news in Strongsville, which already leads the county in crashes caused by animals.

2009 crash report by the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency shows that 77 of the city's 1,112 collisions that year were animal-related.

Next highest was Broadview Heights with 42. North Royalton had 27.

Safety Director Charles Goss told Strongsville Patch earlier this year that 77 actually sounds low.

"I'm surprised we didn't have more than that," Goss said. "They probably didn't count the accidents handled by the Metroparks rangers."

Goss said the sheer number of miles of roadway in the 25-square-mile city, coupled with its proximity to the Cleveland Metroparks, make car-deer crashes likely.

"It's because of our size, and because the Metroparks runs through our city," he said. "We probably have more wildlife just because of that dynamic."

Next door, Brunswick police recently tweeted their concern over a rising number of car/deer crashes in the city. A sergeant warned drivers to be alert after the fifth reported deer accident within the past two weeks, WEWS TV-5 reported last week

The Ohio Department of Transportation offers these safety tips:

• Take those deer-crossing signs seriously. Slow way down, and pay attention.

• Deer Don’t Roam Alone: If you see one deer, look for others to follow.

Deer are night owls: Watch for deer especially at dawn and after sunset. About 20 percent of car-deer collisions occur in early morning, while more than half occur between 5 p.m. and midnight.

• Protect yourself. Always wear seatbelts and drive at safe, sensible speeds for road conditions.

If a vehicle strikes a deer, motorists should report the crash by calling local law enforcement, the sheriff’s department, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, or the Ohio Department of Natural Resources – even if there is no damage to the motorist’s vehicle.

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