Amarillo, TX - Thanks to all the rain, more deer are in the area...meaning more danger for drivers.
TxDOT tells us right now is the peak time for vehicle vs. deer collisions, and they are beginning to see the animals come closer and closer to the city.
They're fairly harmless creatures, until a vehicle comes into play. Accidents involving vehicles and deer are common in Amarillo, however they are expected to be up.
And TxDOT is urging drivers to be extra-cautious in the coming months.
"They're foraging for food, they're also getting away from hunters in some areas," says TxDOT spokesperson Paul Braun. "But they're most active between around 6 at night and midnight, but they really can be active any time day or night."
Jimmy Fincher, owner of Jimmy Fincher Body Shop tells us he has customers in regularly who have hit deer and the damage is usually extensive.
"The one behind us, is probably a 7 or 8 thousand dollar claim. We just...the one on my vehicle, it was a large SUV, but it hit it hard in the front and wrecked the radiator, condenser and everything and the bags didn't go off on ours, and it was still a 12-thousand dollar claim because the whole front end had to be replaced on it," says Fincher.
So what are you "supposed" to do if you see a deer on the road while you're driving? Both Braun and Fincher say slow down, especially while driving at night.
"Apply the brakes," says Braun. "Don't try to swerve. don't hit that wheel really hard because one--you could go into a wrong lane of traffic and hit oncoming traffic or you could lose control and go into a roll-over type situation. It's probably best to hit the animal then to try and avoid it with a sudden move."
"Sometimes people try to avoid hitting a deer or a wild animal and they wound up in a worse condition off in the ditch and rolled their car and I've seen that happen before, so I don't like to hit things in the road, but you're better off maybe hitting something than you are trying to swerve and then cause a worse accident," says Fincher.