With the rifle season now underway, PennDOT is urging drivers to be alert.

Recent statistics show that deer-related accidents are on the rise.

According to State Farm, one out of 63 Pennsylvanian's will be involved in a deer-related crash.
    

During the hunting season, Joe Zaccoria and his fellow employees at Jensen’s Target Collision take in about 10 to 15 vehicles a month, that have been damaged in deer-related crashes.

"A lot of front end stuff,” said Zaccoria.  “Of course, the radiator hood makes them undrivable, so a lot of tow-ins in regard to that, but a lot of down-the-side hits too.”

According to PennDOT District 1 Press Officer Jim Carroll, there were nearly 5,500 deer-related crashes in 2016, including 113 in Erie County and 108 in Crawford County.

Many of those accidents, happened at dawn and at dusk, when deer are most active.

"I would advise people to slow down and use caution, particularly when you see deer crossing signs posted,” said Carroll"Deer often travel in small herds, so if you see one, it can often times be followed by others and you should be aware of that."

If you do hit a deer, Carroll says you should get your car off the road if possible, and call police.

Also, keep in mind that the collision shops will be busy, since at least half of the deer-related accidents happen in the last three months of the year.

"If you unfortunately have that happen, just be patient with the shops, because they are all going to be busy with deer hits,” said Zaccoria.  “We're doing our best to get them back as quick as possible."