AAA along with the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSP) and other state agencies are reminding drivers to remain alert on the road as Ohio enters peak season for deer-related crashes.

According to a press release, statistics from OSP show that since 2018, there were 104,328 deer-related crashes in Ohio. 

While 95% of these crashes only resulted in damage, 33 resulted in fatalities with a total of 34 people being killed. On top of that, 47% of those crashes occurred between the months of October and December each year.

According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), the reason for this is the fall breeding season, which sometimes causes deer to dart into roadways with little caution, which in turn leads to more unexpected accidents involving deer.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine is reminding Ohioans to stay alert for deer in the road. Especially during dawn and dusk. DeWine says with Ohio's new stricter distracted driving laws in effect, he's hopeful that the number of deer crashes will drop this year.

"With Ohio's strengthened distracted driving laws now in place, we anticipate that more drivers will stay alert to their surroundings and as a result, we hope fewer deer crashes will take place this fall," DeWine said.

According to the release, at least 50 deer-related crashes happened in each county, but none of the listed counties with the highest amount of crashes are in the Mahoning Valley.

OSP Superintendent Colonel Charles Jones says in the event that you do strike a deer, move yourself to a safe place if possible, turn on your hazard lights and report the crash.

ODNR Division of Wildlife Chief, Kendra Wecker says deer often move in groups so if you see one, prepare to slow down and be sure there aren't any more crossing the road before you start moving again.

AAA warns that deer collisions won't just damage your car but your pocketbook too. According to the release, recent data shows the average insurance claim for a deer-related crash in Ohio is nearly $5,000.

Vehicle sensors on newer vehicles continue to increase repair costs, even doubling repair bills for minor collisions.

Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do to avoid getting into a deer-related crash yourself or reduce the impact of one. A list of tips is listed below.

- Scan the road ahead and remember that some animals like deer move in groups

- Use your high beams if there is no oncoming traffic to help you spot deer more quickly

- Be extra cautious at dawn or dusk, as deer are more active during this time

- If a crash is unavoidable, apply the brakes firmly and stay in your lane. Swerving can cause a more serious crash or cause you to lose control of your vehicle. And if you miss the deer, but hit something else, you could be charged for an at-fault crash.

- Always wear a seatbelt  and remain alert and sober

If you do wind up hitting a deer, you're asked to follow these steps

- Call the police to report the crash

- Avoid making contact with the deer, as a frightened and wounded animal could pose a threat when approached or might further injure itself

- Put your hazard lights on

- If possible, move your vehicle to a safe location and wait for help to arrive

- Contact your insurance agency as quickly as possible to report any damage