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High numbers of deer-vehicle accidents in Montana

Montana residents know the danger of deer in the road, as the state has now climbed to one of the top places for deer-vehicle collisions. The deer population has actually decreased since last year due to the frigid winter conditions, yet Montana has climbed two spots on the list of top ten places in the nation where deer-car accidents take place.

Just how high is your chance of hitting a deer on Montana roadways this winter? According to State Farm insurance reports, drivers have a one in 77 chance of colliding with deer in Montana, which is much higher than the surrounding states.

These accidents are obviously harmful to the wildlife, but also to humans as well. Not to mention how costly these wildlife-vehicle collisions can be, both in the way of human injuries and damaged property. The same report put out by State Farm shows the annual collisions between vehicles and wildlife have risen to 1.5 million, resulting in nearly 10,000 human injuries.

While Montana has put tunnels under the highways in an effort to deter the wildlife from crossing in front of cars, unfortunately many accidents are still happening. Montana police urge anyone who hits an animal on the road to report it to the local authorities so they can keep track of the number of wildlife and the number of accidents. Officers give tips such as staying alter and paying attention to the "deer crossing" signs to help drivers avoid collisions with wildlife on the road.

Source: Missoulian.com, "Montana in top 10 for deer-vehicle collisions," Brett French, Nov. 19, 2012.

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