Steer Clear of Deer

It’s that time of year…… yep you guessed it, it’s deer season. Peak deer activity season occurs during the Fall and early Winter months. This makes Fall the time of year that you need to be most vigilant and alert while driving.

There are two main reasons why drivers may see more deer along the roads during the Fall & early Winter months:

  • Time Changes: As we begin to “Fall Back” for daylight savings times, peak driving hours for most drivers on the road tend to fall during the same hours which deer are most active, dawn & dusk.
  • Mating Season: Mating season for deer occurs between October and late December, depending on location. Male deer go into “rut” and start searching for mates. This mating increases their activity and distances they travel, bringing them in contact with more roadways.

The following are some tips and information to help avoid potential collisions with deer during this time of the year:

  • Time of Year: While the Fall months are peaking breeding season, deer-car collisions can occur anytime of year. During Fall breeding season, deer movement increases bringing them in contact with roadways that cross their natural habitats. Road shoulders generally provide beneficial food plants. Deer are attracted to these plants in late-winter, early spring and late summer.
  • Time of Day: As deer are most active at dawn and dusk, they are typically seen along roads during early morning and late evening hours, at the same time most people are commuting to and from work.
  • Deer Are Unpredictable: Remember deer are wild and therefore can be unpredictable. A deer calmly standing on the side of the road may bolt into the road rather than away from the road when startled by a vehicle.
  • One Deer Usually Means Multiple: Take caution and slow down when a deer crosses the road in front of you. Deer usually travel in groups, so it is likely that others may follow. If you see a deer cross up ahead be alert for others.
  • Minimize Damage: If it is too late to avoid a collision with a deer, drivers are advised to slow down as much as possible to minimize damage. Do NOT swerve to avoid the deer if collision is inevitable, as this may cause further damage, sending drivers off the road or a collision with another vehicle.

Drive Safe this Deer Season and Steer Clear of Deer.

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