Fall is a beautiful time for scenic drives, but authorities warn it's also a dangerous time for deer-related crashes.

Drivers are most likely to get into a collision with a deer this time of year, with the breeding season lasting from October to December.

Last year, the average deer collision claim cost almost $4,000. Local auto body shops say they're already making repairs.

With the sun setting earlier and nights getting cooler, body shops are bracing for more wrecks involving deer.

Paul Roddy is senior estimator at Padgett's Red Bank Body Shop. Each fall, at least 50 cars come in with damage from deer collisions.

Roddy said the repairs have already started.

"We had one a couple of weeks ago. The deer jumped up. It did not hit the front end, but landed on the windshield," explained.

And it's not a cheap fix.

Roddy said most estimates run between $2,500 - $3,500.

"We have a lot of cars come in with front end hits on the deer, and sometimes they actually just run into the side of them, too. You could be driving down the road and they hit you in the door," he said.

According to the Tennessee Department of Safety, Southeast Tennessee is a hot spot for deer collisions.

Most recent numbers show Hamilton County sees a yearly average of 130 crashes involving deer. McMinn County, 100 crashes; and Bradley County, 79 crashes.

To avoid hitting deer, State Farm recommends drivers pay attention to deer crossing signs and use high beams when possible."I see them when I go out on to Morrison Springs Road and 27. They're on the side of the road, eating right there," Roddy said. "So they're real close to town."While most wrecks happen near wooded area, authorities advise drivers to remain alert on major highways and interstates, too.