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Oh, Deer, It's The Rut Season Again!

Deroia Posted by John DeRoia, OHST

Deer breeding season is once again upon us. This is a time when we typically see deer on the move. This is a dangerous time for drivers. According to the Insurance Information Institute, 1.6 million deer-vehicle collisions occur each year, with November accounting for the most collisions!

Here are a few fall driving tips to help you avoid a collision:

  • If you see a deer crossing the road, more than likely there will be several more, watch for the rest of the pack.
  • Deer are typically most active from dusk till dawn.
  • Pay attention to the amber caution signs. They are placed intentionally where the wildlife activity is the highest.
  • If you have the option, stay in the center lane on a multi lane road. This will give you a little extra time to spot deer crossing from either road side.
  • If you see deer crossing the road, drive straight and brake firmly. There is no telling if the deer will turn and run back or continue on their path. If you try to swerve you are putting yourself at a higher risk for a potential crash, either off the road or into another car.
  • As always, wear your seatbelts!
  • If you do come into contact with a deer pull over to the side of the road with your flashers on as soon as it is safe to do so.
  • Remain in your vehicle and call emergency services. Let the professionals move the deer from the road.
  • Do not exit your vehicle to go check on a deer that has been hit. You are putting yourself at risk of being hit by a passing vehicle. You are also at risk of being attacked by a wounded animal.

For further information regarding deer collision avoidance, check out these resources from the Maine DOT, the New York DOT, and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Drive safely this fall and enjoy the foliage!

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