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Avoiding Deer-Related Accidents

Accidents involving deer can happen any time of the year, but there are more deer near roads during the animal’s mating season in October, November, and December. And deer are often on the move and most active between the hours of 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Use more caution during these hours. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are approximately 1.5 million car accidents with deer each year that result in $1 billion in vehicle damage, 200 human fatalities, and over 10,000 personal injuries.

Use the following tips to help avoid a vehicle-deer collision:

  • Drive at a safe speed. Driving more slowly will give you more time to avoid an animal if you spot it.
  • Deer often travel in herds. If one deer crosses the road, a second or third may be nearby.
  • Honk your horn when you see a deer near the road. This is the most effective way for deer to know where the car is coming from and where they are headed. Their instincts should do the rest.
  • Use extreme caution when driving at dawn and dusk. This is when driver visibility is poor.
  • Do not count on deer whistles, repellent devices, or fences to deter deer from crossing in front of you. These measures have not proven effective.
  • Watch for the reflection of deer eyes and deer silhouettes on the shoulder of the road.

 Stay alert and keep it slow!