Stay Alert for Deer, Ohio Drivers Warned

During 2016, there were 4,256 deer-related crashes on the state's roads in November, almost twice as many as the next leading month, according to the Ohio Department of Public Safety.

Ohio Department of Insurance Director Jillian Froment and Ohio State Highway Patrol Superintendent Col. Paul Pride recently reminded Ohioans to complete an insurance review and to drive with extra caution during November, which is the leading month for deer-vehicle crashes in the state. "Ohioans can protect themselves by committing to attentive driving and having the appropriate insurance in place," Froment said. "Driver focus is vital the entire year, especially in November with the amount of increased deer activity."

Ing 2016, there were 4,256 deer-related crashes on the state's roads in November, almost twice as many as the next leading month, according to the Ohio Department of Public Safety. In total, people were involved in more than 18,400 deer-related crashes in 2016. The most incidents occurred in Stark (510), Lorain (459), Hamilton (452), Richland (433), and Trumbull (411) counties.

"Driving requires your full attention," Pride said. "If you see a deer in the roadway, slow down but do not swerve. If you strike a deer, move to a safe place, turn on your hazard lights, and report the accident."

Deer are most active at dawn and at dusk.

The comprehensive coverage (also known as "other than collision" coverage) portion of an auto insurance policy often is used to pay for deer-vehicle damage repair. A liability-only policy does not cover the damage. Authorities say drivers should make sure they photograph any damage to support an insurance claim.

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Ohio Gov. John R. Kasich and the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness are promoting Winter Safety Awareness Week during Nov. 12-18. During this week, Kasich encourages homeowners and businesses to update their safety plans, replenish supplies in their emergency kits, and prepare themselves, their vehicles, and their property for winter-related incidents. "Winter Safety Awareness Week is the perfect time to start preparing your homes and vehicles for winter," said Ohio EMA Executive Director Sima Merick. "Because of the warmer weather we had last winter, parts of Ohio experienced thunderstorms, damaging winds and flooding. And just Sunday, Ohio experienced severe thunderstorms, tornadoes and flash flooding. So, regardless of the season, it's best for Ohioans to be prepared for all severe weather."

Similarly, the Maryland State Highway Administration held its annual "Snow Show" events last week, and the agency reported it is fully stocked with material and equipment ready to keep Maryland's roads and bridges safe and passable this winter. "MDOT SHA has an expert team that thinks about snow year-round, working to continually improve our strategizes for managing snow and ice," said Administrator Gregory Slater. "It is a good time for drivers to prepare by checking tires, putting ice scrapers in vehicles, as well as emergency kits, including jumper cables."

The agency also highlighted a newer technology on roadways: infrared weather sensors that provide data on pavement conditions, atmospheric conditions, and information on salinity content of moisture on treated roadways. Coupled with detailed weather monitoring, it makes the department more efficient in timing of deployment of crews and use of materials. "The smarter road technology helps MDOT SHA make smarter decisions, saving $11.7 million last season," Slater explained. The agency will use the data to better inform drivers in real time by automatically posting pavement conditions to overhead digital message boards.

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