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Deer involved in hundreds of road crashes

Staffordshire | News | Published:

Hundreds of car crashes involving deer took place in one year in Staffordshire and the Black Country.

Roads in Cannock Chase and Wyre Forest are among the worst for reported deer vehicle collisions, according to the Deer Initiative.

It has up to 200 of the incidents reported each year in Cannock Chase, but the organisation believes the true figure could stand at 250.

In Wyre Forest, around 30 are reported each year, but the real figure could be between 50 and 60.

The M5 and M42 south west of Birmingham are also common areas for deer vehicle collisions.

Dr Jochen Langbein, who has been working on the problem with the Deer Initiative for 10 years, estimated that as many as a fifth of the 1.5 million deer in the UK were affected.

He said: "Although around 20 per cent need to be culled each year to prevent further increase in deer populations, sadly deer-vehicle collisions account for one in every five deer killed.

"This spring alone near 20,000 deer are likely to be killed on UK roads.

"The daily peak is at dawn and dusk when deer are most active."

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Among the roads worst-hit nationally by deer accidents are those between Cannock, Rugeley and Shugborough, or mainly minor roads through and near Cannock Forest, including the A513 and the A34.

The problem is also present in Wyre Forest, with the A4194 from Bewdley to Stourport and the A456 cited as the worst areas.

Project bosses say that across the UK there are up to 75,000 deer vehicle collisions each year.

They say they affect not only the animals themselves but also result in 400 to 700 human injuries and several human deaths each year.

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The initiative reports that more than 14,000 vehicles nationwide will incur significant damage - above the common insurance claim excess of £250 - following a collision with a deer.

The insurance industry says this results in additional costs of up to £50 million for this type of accident alone.

Not included is the costs that arise through traffic delays or dealing with the removal of injured or dead deer from the roadside.

It is reported that accidents involving deer are widespread and on the increase in some parts of the UK, particularly Wales.

The Deer Initiative, along with Highway England, has launched an awareness campaign to highlight the greater likelihood of deer accidents at this time of the year. April through to June is considered a high-risk time as many deer will be on the move looking for new territories.

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