Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Roadkill...Man vs. Deer
The photo is from 1947. The car belongs to my wife's uncle, Richie Biegaj, taken shortly after Richie collided with a buck just outside of Lublin, Wisconsin.
Richie grew up in Chicago where he was was the reigning "Southside Polish Bowling Champion" in the late 40's. He later moved to Wisconsin where he took up farming in the Lublin area. In the arena of total yearly car/deer collisions, Wisconsin comes in 10th. Pennsylvania is 1st. Below are a few random facts about an increasing problem.
Ratio of deer-related accidents to total accidents in 1978: 1 in 20
Ratio of deer-related accidents to total accidents in 1995: 1 in 6
Property damage from vehicle-deer accidents 1985 - 1997: $412,000,000
The insurance industry believes that this 1997 estimate was too conservative and that the current annual loss is in excess of $100 million.
Number of people hurt in vehicle-deer accidents since 1985: 7,624
Up 918 from 1997
Number of people killed in vehicle-deer accidents since 1985: 44
Up 11 from 1997
Number of collisions in 2002: 22,000
Number of injuries in 2002:800
In 2006, investigating officers reported 17,878 motor vehicle-deer crashes. Of those, 6,875 (38.5%) occurred in October or November. The secondary peak time of May-June included 2,994 crashes (16.7%).
The number of persons injured or killed in deer crashes has increased since the late 1970s. Since 1979, there has been a general increase in the number of persons injured or killed in motor vehicle crashes with deer. The 640 people injured or killed in 2006 was 70 more than in 1993 and the 14th highest annual total in 28 years of record keeping. 1999 was the highest with 847.
Number of deer carcasses removed from Wisconsin's roadway system. For Fiscal Year 2006, a total of 36,900 carcasses were removed.