Two counties in the East rank near tops in state with animal-related crashes

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Two counties in the East rank near the top in the state for the number of animal related collisions on roadways.

Between 2013 and 2015, Duplin County ranked 2nd with 548 crashes involving animals, and Pitt County ranked 4th with 501. Wake County led the state with 839 animal-related collisions.

This time of year can be particularly dangerous when driving, especially during dawn and dusk hours.

The good news is that animal-related collisions are usually covered under comprehensive damage in your insurance. It also won’t directly increase your rates.

“It’s considered a non-at fault accident, basically,” said Tim Wamer, a State Farm agent. “You couldn’t control that the deer was jumping out in front of you.”

Between 2013 and 2015 there were more than 56,000 crashes involving an animal statewide. Those incidents led to 12 deaths, 3,400 injuries, and more than $141 million in damages.

Troopers said they have seen a spike on local roads in the last few weeks.

“Hunting pressure plays some part in it but the biggest part would be the actual rut or the actually mating season,” said Trooper Billy Beaman.

To better protect yourself, make sure you slow down, especially on roads you aren’t familiar with. The NCDOT also recommends driving with your bright lights on while looking for any reflective eyes on the side of the road. You can also blow your horn with one long blast.

Beaman said the most important thing to do is not try and swerve to avoid the animal.

“We see more injuries and more property damage that occur when people actually try to avoid hitting an animal,” he said.

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