According to THP, there have been 4,268 reported WVCs with deer so far this year; three people have died in these crashes. There were also more than 300 people injured.
Of the deer WVCs, three out of four of these incidents occurred between the hours of 5 p.m. and 7 a.m. with 56% of them occurring in the dark.
Deer WVCs have also resulted in more than $41 million in economic costs in Tennessee.
Last year in 2022, there were 6,799 deer WVCs that resulted in four human fatalities, with more than 60% occurring in the dark.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has warned drivers, especially those traveling in November for the Thanksgiving holiday, that the deer rutting or mating season will ramp up around this time and cause more deer to likely be crossing roadways.
“While driving, be alert for deer crossing roadways, and slow down to avoid a collision,” TWRA spokesman Matt Cameron said in a video shared by TWRA in November 2022. “But never veer for a deer. Doing so could cause you to lose control and swerve into oncoming traffic, or off the roadway – making the accident much worse.”
While TWRA doesn’t investigate WVCs, the agency does have a regulation that allows motorists to keep wildlife struck by vehicles, Cameron said. This excludes bears. Also, if the driver hits a deer and it doesn’t die on impact, Cameron said TWRA encourages drivers to not approach it as it could be potentially dangerous; rather, call 911 and inform them that the animal is still alive and typically, E-911 will contact TWRA so a wildlife officer can provide assistance.