Large deer population raises risks on MS highways

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — As winter tapers off, Mississippi motorists have yet another road hazard to be on the lookout for – deer.

The swift-footed animal can cause thousands of dollars in damages to a vehicle in collisions that have claimed the lives of Mississippi motorists.

The Clarion-Ledger reports a recent study by insurance provider United Services Automobile Association ranked Mississippi as the 10th highest for frequency rate for animal-vehicle collisions.

Mississippi Department of Transportation recorded 3,020 deer-vehicle crashes in 2008, the most recent figures available.

That’s a slight increase from the previous year’s number at 2,918 deer-vehicle accidents. MDOT also reported two traffic deaths and 254 injuries from those 2007 crashes.