Each year an estimated one million plus car accidents are caused by deer. The average cost per vehicle is in excess of $4500.00 per accident according to the Automobile Association of America. According to body shop owners, the cost of vehicle repairs will only rise in the future. Todays high tech cars and trucks that equipped the newest technology that is installed in bumpers, side mirrors, headlamps, and on windshields are becoming more expensive to fix. Most of these high tech features are becoming standard on cars. The average price today for a new headlight full replacement will cost around $1000.00. Insurance Journal magazine estimates that the cost is over 4 billion dollars per year. Thats a lot of dented hoods!
Automobile accidents increased by 54 percent in Pennsylvania from 1994 to 2000. There was a staggering 69 percent increase in five states combined (Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, and Utah) from 1985 to 1991. Mind you, deer-auto accidents are seasonal. Deer-auto accidents peak in October and November during the mating season, with a secondary peak in May and June as young deer disperse from their birth ranges.
So what are the solutions? The Center for Disease Control proposed putting tall fences at deer crossing spots and channeling deer to underpasses that would be the best solution to reduce accidents. The cost of fencing would be huge, considering our road and highway system in the U. S. Building underpasses would escalate the fencing cost times over. Iowa estimated construction costs for 8 ft high fence on one side of a roadway at $42,000 per mile. That was in 1998. What would the cost be today?