Active deer become bad news for drivers

Auto body technicians Lance Wolters, left, and Rich Eichholz remove a damaged hood from a vehicle after it was brought to Kemna Collision Repair. The vehicle suffered damage in a collision with a deer.

Auto body technicians Lance Wolters, left, and Rich Eichholz remove a damaged hood from a vehicle after it was brought to Kemna Collision Repair. The vehicle suffered damage in a collision with a deer.

Deer are most active in the fall, and that can be bad news for drivers. Just Wednesday, officers responded to a vehicle versus deer accident at Elmerine Avenue and Moreau Drive.

Authorities and auto body shop owners are offering advice about what to do if you do hit a deer with your car.

The Missouri Highway Patrol urges motorists to be vigilant, especially during evening and early dawn hours. Fall is mating season for deer, and their numbers continue to grow in Missouri, even in suburban and urban areas. Hunting and crop harvesting also tend to prompt deer to venture out into roads.

The patrol says Missouri had 3,980 deer-related traffic accidents last year, with most occurring from October through December. Five people died and 411 were hurt in those accidents.

Motorists who see one deer should slow down and proceed cautiously because the animals often travel in groups.

At Kemna Collision Repair on Roling Road, owner Greg Kemna said they should be busy for the next few months.

With the average cost to repair damage from a deer accident being anywhere from $2,500 to $3,500, Kemna said there are some things drivers can do to help avoid such collisions, like driving with your high-beam lights to illuminate the road better.

If you have an accident, Kemna said make sure there are no liquids coming out of the front of the vehicle before you try to continue driving. If there are liquids visible, call a tow truck.

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