A video showing an Arizona bicyclist colliding with a deer has been making the rounds, and it’s a frightening thing to behold.
Out of nowhere, a buck darts into the road, crashes into the bicycle and sends the rider hurtling through the air.
Luckily, the rider — identified by Tucson.com as Reed Soehnel — suffered only minor injuries, including a broken foot and some road rash.
The video — which was taken by a camera mounted on the rear of another bicycle and posted to YouTube — shows how quickly a trip can go south because of the unexpected. It’s almost a public service advertisement, too, as to why bicycle and motorcycle riders should never set off without a helmet.
How often does this happen? It’s hard to say, because data on crashes involving wild animals and bicycles or motorcycles are spotty.
Statistics compiled by State Farm found more than 1.3 million motor vehicle collisions with deer, elk and other large mammals in 2017, a figure slightly lower than the year before. Even with the protection of a car or other motor vehicle, people die, including 189 people in 2016, according to the Insurance Information Institute. In 2012, however, AAA found that 70 percent of the deer crash fatalities involved motorcycles.
The most perilous time of year for man and beast is late fall and winter. The animals are in rut then or are moved by hunters, and darkness comes early, increasing the odds of collision. Those odds are highest in West Virginia and have been for about a decade, insurers say.
Another deer-vs.-human video that went viral last fall suggests that sometimes the bicycle doesn’t even have to collide with a deer to create a dangerous situation: The video, posted by the Charlotte Observer, shows a deer dashing into the path of a vehicle, hitting it and then ricocheting toward a string of bikers.
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