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Deer-vehicle collisions on the rise

Meg Hilling
October 06, 2017 06:30 PM

AZTEC, N.M. – New Mexico is seeing a spike in car and deer-related collisions. So what is behind this increase?

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"This time of year, when deer are moving around, you may see upwards of 20 to 25 in a month," Rivas Auto Finish Owner Kelly Kelso said. "A hoof will catch this, an antler will catch that, and so you have to look outside just the primary impact area.”

According to State Farm, the increase in collisions has to do with the number of drivers on New Mexico’s roads.

"We attribute the increase in the accidents to the number of licensed drivers increasing in the state. So you will probably see those numbers continue to spike as New Mexico gains more licensed drivers," State Farm Insurance Agent Ginny Gil said.

Those collisions can cause some major damage both physically and financially.

"Company-wide, the average collision with a deer or another, you know, a moose or a caribou or something will cost the company on average about $4,100. Which is up over last year, [when it] was $3,900," Gil said.

Deer aren’t the only animals New Mexican drivers need to worry about when they are behind the wheel. Other animals such as bear or elk can also cause serious damage.

"We have a bear hit right now, some elk hits. I have a horse hit every once in a while, and those are usually not very good," Kelso said.

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Meg Hilling

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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