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Deer-Related Auto Accidents Expected to Rise in November

This time of year typically sees an upswing in the number of auto accidents involving, or caused by, deer on our highways. The period from late October through mid-December is typically the mating season for deer, which means they will travel greater distances and present more opportunities to encounter humans - especially during the late afternoons and evenings when deer are feeding and traffic on the highways is relatively heavy.

The dangers of these deer and car collisions goes beyond just the possibility of hitting a deer with your car and sustaining property damage. Car accidents involving deer frequently lead to injuries for passengers and drivers and sometimes lead to aggressive driving tactics and overcompensation by drivers that cause serious multi-car accidents.

So what should you do if you are about to hit a deer? Here are a few tips:

  • Watch the sides of the road for deer attempting to cross - especially during early morning and dusk hours.
  • Be aware that deer often travel together and will cross roads in single file. If you see one deer, there is a chance that others are following.
  • If a crash becomes unavoidable, don't swerve in an attempt to avoid the deer. You may roll your car over or cause an accident involving other cars.
  • Your best course of action is to slow your car down and strike the deer if you have no other choice.
  • If you have struck a deer, don't try to remove it from the roadway unless you are absolutely positive it is dead. An injured deer can cause severe injuries to anyone approaching it.
  • Don't trust anti-deer devices such as car whistles to warn deer. Studies have shown they are not effective at preventing collisions with deer.

Source: Frederick News-Post, Deer Mating Season Means Greater Risk of Highway Crashes, Pam Riqaux, 11/7/10

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