Last summer I was heading to Idaho with a friend for a gathering of writers. As we came up a hill late at night, the bright eyes of half a dozen frozen deer reflecting back our headlights popped into view. My friend slowed down, navigated his way through and we continued on.
About a minute later a truck came flying back in the opposite direction. I hated to think what happened next.
Hitting deer on the Beehive State's highways and byways is an inevitability it would seem. According to a press release from New State Farm, our chances of colliding with deer are 15 percent higher than last year. "The odds drivers will hit a deer in Utah are 1 out of 195, below the national odds of 1 in 169," the company says.
New State Farm says the cost to drivers for these accidents has also risen, from $3,888 in 2014 to $4,135.
That puts Utah 30th in the nation for finding a deer in front of your speeding vehicle.
Between hunting and the rut, November through December are the worst months for collisions. Advice New State offers includes drive with your high beams at night when the roads are empty, keep your eyeballs peeled for animal movement, and "avoid swerving when you see a deer." Which I guess means drive right through the poor critter.
It's not something to be ignored either. In 2013, 191 people died as a result of vehicle colliding with animals on U.S. roads, with deer top of the list numerically for animals being hit.