Deer-vehicle accidents decreased in Ohio in 2012, but Stark County is No. 1 for such collisions in the state.
Stark County recorded 559 deer-vehicle accidents in 2012, according to a report released Tuesday by the Ohio Insurance Institute, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Ohio Department of Public Safety and the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
Stark County’s 559 total is down from 615 in 2011 and 630 in 2010. That is a 9.1 percent drop from 2011 to 2012.
The other top counties were Richland at 535, Hamilton 522, Clermont 472 and Lorain with 470.
Summit County was seventh with 434 deer-vehicle accidents in 2012. That’s a 10.9 percent decline from the year earlier. It had 487 accidents in 2011 and 552 in 2010.
Medina County recorded a 17.6 percent decline in accidents. The total dropped from 381 in 2011 to 314 in 2012. It had 393 in 2010.
Portage County had an 8.3 percent decline from 448 in 2010 to 424 in 2011 to 389 in 2012.
Wayne County had a 7.7 percent decline. It recorded 324 accidents in 2012, down from 351 in 2011 and 363 in 2010.
Overall, Ohio had 20,996 deer-vehicle accidents that were reported to law enforcement agencies in 2012. That is a 7.5 percent drop from 2011’s 22,696 accidents and 2010’s 23,201 accidents.
Those accidents resulted in auto damages of $72.3 million in 2012, the Ohio Insurance Institute said.
The counties with the fewest crashes in 2012 were Monroe (15), Morgan (27), Carroll (26), Harrison (37) and Perry (43).
There were six fatalities and 1,013 injuries reported in 2012, the report says.
Authorities “do not have an answer” as to why the number of deer-vehicle accidents is dropping across much of Ohio, said Mitch Wilson, a spokesman for the Ohio Insurance Institute.
Only 20 of Ohio’s 88 counties showed an increase in deer-vehicle accidents in 2012.
Nationally, about 200 motorists die annually from deer-vehicle collisions, says the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Nationally, the typical deer-vehicle accident costs $3,414, according to State Farm data.
It estimated that there are 1.22 million deer-vehicle accidents annually across the United States.
The autumn is when Ohio motorists are most likely to collide with deer, the agencies said. This is because the white-tailed deer’s peak deer mating season is from October through January.
Last year, there were 5,050 crashes in November. That was the No. 1 month in 2012 for such accidents.
Most accidents occur at dawn and dusk when the deer are most active.
Ohio has 11.8 million registered vehicles and 8 million licensed drivers.
Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or firstname.lastname@example.org.