Focus on the Road: Watch out for deer crossing the roads

Over the coming month, KRCG will be focusing on the problem of distracted driving.

Wednesday's distracted driving story takes a little twist as deer season approaches us.

We talked with experts Wednesday about why you should be aware of all your surroundings while you're driving, especially during deer season.

You may be seeing more and more deer lying on the side of the road in the next few weeks because deer are starting to be in rut.

"Any time you're driving you know that there is going to be seasonal factors that you need to be aware of, this time of year deer is one of them. People just need to remember that deer don't travel one at a time, they will travel in multiples, MoDOT's Jason Shafer said. So if you see one and it runs across the road you better slow down anyways because there could be a couple more behind them."

The highway patrol said there were almost 3500 deer vs. car collisions 2010.

Of those crashes 350 people were injured when they hit a deer.

The patrol said the only way to avoid hitting a deer is to be extra cautious while you're out on the road.

"It's very important to be paying attention while driving this time of year as well as anytime of year. But we know with hunting season coming up, farmers getting their crops out of the field, and as well as mating season starting for deer, that they're really on the move this time of the year, MO Highway Patrol Lt. John Hotz said. It's very important that we're looking out for those animals and we're expecting them."

The owner of Boyce Auto Body tells me that most of the work they're doing right now is on cars that have run-ins with deer.

"I'd say of the collision repairs we are doing right now probably 30% to 40% are deer related accidents. It does go down, but we've noticed now as the deer population continues to grow the deer hits happen all year around, Owner of Boyce Auto Body Brit Boyce said.

Hitting a deer can be costly, but Boyce said your car can be fixed, you can't.

"If there's a deer in the road always take the deer. I'm not just saying that so it increases business for us, but when we see people take the alternative either going into the other land or on onto the shoulder, that's when a more serious accident happens, Boyce said.

Most deer vs. car accidents happen in the early morning hours or at dusk.

Make the pledge to Focus on the Road on our website. If you do so you will be enter in a drawing for a chance to win a Ford Focus.