Every biker knows someone who's been brought down by a deer, and everyone at the site has had near misses with deer. As David Hough notes in 'Proficient Motorcycling', (see our review), the problem is understated in the Hurt and other studies, which were done in cities.
Many bikers ride for pleasure, and we like the same twisties and forested areas that deer do. We dug around in the stats, and focused on two reports on Minnesota in 2008, which suggest that, although deer/bike collisions are only a few percent of the overall vehicle-deer crashes, they account for 90% of the deaths and a third of the injuries. A biker in a crash with a deer seems to have almost a 100% chance of being injured, and almost a 10% probability of being killed, which is a higher casualty rate than average for motorcycle crashes.
Our conclusion is that there are probably over 3000 bike/animal crashes nationwide, with almost 200 deaths and 3600 injuries.
The Bikesafer article covers defensive strategies for deer, and there's a page on other animal hazards. We don't have any magic bullet for avoiding deer accidents, but we provide hints on when to be especially vigilant for critters, and best practices for evasive tactics if needed.
Labels: motorcycle safety animal crash