Using its claims data, the nation’s largest auto insurer estimates 2.4 million collisions between deer and vehicles occurred in the United States during the two-year period between July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2009 – 18.3 percent more than five years earlier. Georgia experienced an 8 percent increase over the same period. State Farm estimates that 43,673 deer-vehicle collisions occurred during that time.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, deer-vehicle collisions in the U.S. cause more than 150 fatalities each year. The average property damage cost of these incidents was $3,050, up 3.4 percent from a year ago.

These collisions are more frequent during the deer migration and mating season in October, November and December. The combination of increased human populations and the displacement of deer habitat caused by urban sprawl are producing increasingly hazardous conditions for motorists and deer.

For more information on deer-car collisions in Georgia or to learn more about white-tailed deer, visit www.georgiawildlife.com , contact a Wildlife Resources Division Game Management office.