Area residents should be on the lookout for deer when driving, especially at night as their breeding season is underway, making deer more active.
According to the National Highway Safety Administration, deer collisions are most likely to occur during deer breeding season – from October through early January, at dawn and from dusk to late evening.
A recent survey by the administration found that more deer-related accidents were occurring due to increasing deer populations and as neighborhoods and other building take over their natural destruction habitats.
The study found:
- 1.5 million deer-related car accidents occur each year.
- The accidents result in more than $1 billion dollars in vehicle damage.
- On average, there are 175-200 fatalities every year and 10,000 injuries.
The association also said one of the biggest mistakes drivers can make when they see a deer in the roadway is to veer into the other lane. This action can cause head-on accident and usually are much deadlier than hitting the deer.
Some tips for driving during deer season include:
- Know the likely deer-crossing zones.
- Be especially alert for deer when driving on roads or highways on the outskirts of town and in rural areas.
- Know when deer are on the move – be especially careful between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m. and between 5 p.m. and midnight.
- Don’t rely on devices – items like deer whistles, deer fences and reflectors have not been proven effective at deterring deer crossing roadways.
- Brake firmly when a deer is near the road – slow down and stop if necessary.
- Be careful not to swerve out of your lane either into on-coming traffic or off the shoulder and into a ditch.
- Keep your distance – if you do strike a deer, don’t approach it. An injured deer is frightened and can injure you as well as further injuring itself.
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