Roadside Chat - Watch for deer in headlights. They don't

11-10 watch for deerIt’s that time of year again. Harvest is wrapping up, unsettling deer out of the relative safety of the farm fields and into more open areas. On top of being disrupted from the fields, it’s mating season, which means more deer are on the move for the annual rut. According to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, you may be distracted by the first deer crossing a road not seeing the buck pursuing the first deer. This time of year, you should be on the lookout for multiple scenarios of fast-moving, unpredictable deer crossing highways.

In 2022, there were 7,598 crashes between vehicles and animals on Iowa roads. Of those, five people were killed, 44 people suffered serious injuries and more than 300 more were listed on crash reports as having minor or possible injuries.

These numbers are only for crashes that were reported to law enforcement. The number of crashes is likely much higher.

So far this year in Iowa, 314 people have been killed in traffic crashes. That’s an increase of three since last Friday. In Iowa in 2022, there were 338 traffic-related deaths. To see statistics published daily by the Office of Driver Services, go to the daily fatality report at

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