There has been a sharp rise in the number of fatal road crashes involving animals, according to figures released by the DfT (Telegraph).
Eight people were killed last year, compared with one in 2010 and six in 2009. Details of the crashes are unclear but are believed to have involved collisions with deer or sheep.
Last year, fatalities were reported by police in North Yorkshire, Humberside, Warwickshire, Norfolk, Thames Valley, Wiltshire, Strathclyde and northern Scotland.
Andrew Howard, the AA’s head of road safety, said: “We have pointed out that these animals do cover large areas of the country. If you hit them, you should not assume that you are going to escape scot-free.”
Jochen Langbein, who runs a deer collisions website, believes the number of incidents is under-reported. He points out that if the car hits a dead animal then it is classed as an object and not recorded.
In a study for the Highways Agency, Mr Langbeln found that 65% of deer-related incidents took place in south east and eastern England. His report claims there are at least 350 human injuries a year costing the economy an estimated £24 million.
Mr Langbeln recommended detailed research into more than 50 deer collision hotspots to see what can be done to reduce the number of accidents.
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