The findings from the six year study into deer-vehicle collisions were released to deer researchers and managers at the Deer Initiative conference in Buxton.

An analysis of 30,500 incidents occurring between 2000 and 2005 also suggested deer may be implicated in almost 700 accidents resulting in human injury every year.

Twenty in six years have been fatal. The estimated economic cost of human injury is around £30 million a year, while insurance claims as a result of the collisions run at £17 million.

The Highways Agency stated more needs to be done to educate drivers of hot spots on roads where deer are likely to appear.

Tony Sangwine, of the Highways Agency, said: “There is no silver bullet amongst the available deterrents, and I would like to see us dealing with driver education.”

The figures also showed the effects road accidents have on wild deer. Road deaths are second only to deliberate culls in reducing the deer population.

Peter Watson, director of the Deer Initiative, said: “The vast number of deer injured in traffic accidents every
year probably represents the single greatest welfare issue for wild deer in Britain.”