STROUDSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Experts say this is the most dangerous time of year for car crashes involving deer. That’s because the deer rut, or mating season, has started. 

PennDOT says in 2017, there were more than 4,200 crashes and 15 fatalities involving deer and other animals. Statistics show in Pennsylvania, there’s a 1 in 63 percent chance of hitting a deer.

Last year, Pocono Motion Body Shop in Stroudsburg repaired nearly 100 deer-damaged vehicles. The year before, they had about 25.

“I’ve actually been in business about 35 years, and I’ve never seen it like last year. It was crazy,” says Rich Banks, President, Pocono Motion Body Shop. 

Justin Faus is a Game Warden with the Pennsylvania Game Commission. He says the deer rut, or mating, season typically runs from October through December. 

“It’s an increased activity time for the white tail deer. So, you’re going to want to keep an eye out on the road and be vigilant,” says Justin Faus, Game Warden, Pennsylvania Game Commission.

If you see a deer, Faus says you should always expect to see more. He adds, be especially vigilant in rural areas. 

“Always wear your seatbelt. If you were to get into a collision, you want to make sure you’re secured in your vehicle,” Faus explains.

Back at Pocono Motion, employees are preparing for a busy next few months. They say deer could put a major dent in your vehicle, and wallet.

“Last year we had a $12,000 deer hit, which is pretty extensive,” Banks recalls.

If you see a deer that’s been hit and is still struggling in the road, call 911 or your regional Game Commission office. Click here for regional office contact information

AAA says animals are especially active in the early morning and evening hours, which are prime commuting times for drivers. The company suggests buying comprehensive insurance, which covers animal collisions.