The highway has not been open a month, and Indiana State Police say they've responded to two dozen deer-car collisions along the 67 mile stretch. There haven't been any deaths or serious injuries, but it's still a big concern.
A Tri-State body shop owner says that this month, December, is commonly when they see the highest number of deer-related collisions. There have already been twenty-four wrecks in just three weeks. Hunting season is going on right now, and it's mating season. These two factors that make for a dangerous time of year.
Since I-69 opened it's made traveling smoother in southwestern Indiana, but vehicles at at Greenwell's Auto Body in Princeton tell a different story. "I had been on the roadway of I-69 less than a half mile after setting on the interchange, and I hit the deer maybe a mile north of the Oakland City, Huntingburgh, and Princeton interchange," says Brian Harmon of Princeton who was in his car when it collided with a deer I-69
"The newness of I-69, or the fact that I-69 just happened to open during the middle of the rut for deer, and the middle of hunting season," says Harmon.
Joedy Greenwell says his shop deals with deer collisions a lot this time of year. So far I-69 has been an area of concern, but problem is not the new roadway, but the wildlife surrounding it. "Part of the highway is grown up or more of a brushy thick area. The deer are going to come out of there more than a field one," says Greenwell. While drivers have adjusted to this new roadway, the animals along the area have not. "A lot of deer have the same path they go down all the time. Generation to generation, they follow that same area," says Greenwell.
Though business is good, Greenwell and his customers are making sure to be a little more cautious along the new route. As the amount of holiday travelers increases drivers are reminded to keep an eye out for deer along this I-69 route.