Car-deer crashes can be costly

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Kendall Downing

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Ill. - Fall is prime time to hunt deer. It's also prime time to hit them with your car.

Deer look to mate in the fall months, so movement at them is at its peak. The problem is the animals don't let much get in the way, crossing interstates and county roads, while becoming moving targets.

Repairs from car-deer collisions can be costly.

Inside Beasley Auto Body in Marion, Illinois, Robert Beasley buffs. He's busy because it's deer season.

"By Thanksgiving, it's usually in full swing," he said.

The fall months bring business.

"We'll write four or five estimates a week probably on deer damage at this time of year," he said.

A buck's bouncing against your car can cost you big time. Beasley estimates the average repair is about $4,000 but can be as much as $10,000.

Beasley said cars now are harder to fix. Each bump, ding, or scrape calls for attention to detail.

"Everything is run by the computers, and it's a difficult process to repair them anymore," he said.

With so much of the Local 6 area rural and full of wildlife, police advise drivers to simply slow down and watch at dawn and dusk.

"Motorists need to be aware, be alert that the deer are more active. And they need to reduce their speed and drive cautiously," said Lt. Kenny Ryder, with Illinois State Police.

As for what happens to the deer you hit, it depends on where you live.

IDOT will pick up dead deer along the side of state routes and interstates. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will pick up deer if they are obstructing the roadway. But it they're on the shoulder the KYTC will leave them there to be taken care of naturally.

In the meantime, Roger Beasley will stay at work to take care of what's left of your car.

"Sometimes I'm amazed at some of the stuff that gets damaged," said Beasley.

Kentucky State Police report a dramatic increase in the number of car-deer incidents just in the past few days.

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