Watch Out for Deer! Drivers need to be vigilant.
This time of year, as young deer leave their home areas, drivers should be alert for deer along highways.
The peak season for deer-vehicle collisions is from early October to mid-December. After nightfall, drivers are recommended to drive more slowly and cautiously to lessen the possibility of coming across deer. The most common times for deer-vehicle collisions are dawn and dusk, when deer are most active.
Drivers need to be alert for warning signals when deer are nearby. Search for a second or third deer to follow when you observe one deer cross the road. Keep an eye out for signage warning of the Deer Crossing Area on the roads.
Sometimes deer-vehicle collisions are unavoidable.
If only the car is harmed, law enforcement agencies do not need to be informed. The collision must be recorded, though, if there were any injuries or other property damage. In addition, a permit is required before taking possession of road-killed deer. Permits are free and available from game wardens and local law enforcement.
The following measures can reduce the likelihood of injury or property damage in a deer-vehicle collision:
Always wear your seat belt.
Don’t swerve or take the ditch to avoid hitting a deer. Try to brake as much as possible and stay on the roadway. Don’t lose control of your vehicle or slam into something else to miss the deer. You risk less injury by hitting the deer.
If you spot deer ahead, slow down immediately and honk your horn.