Driver advice for deer breeding seasonFriday 21st October 2016
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Deer enter their breeding season from October to December, meaning that they are on the move and more likely to venture onto our country roads and cause collisions. Times of day when collisions are at their highest risk is between sunset and midnight, and the hours surrounding sunrise.
It is estimated that there is a population of up to two million deer in the UK and up to 74,000 road collisions each year are deer related, resulting in 400-700 human injuries and up to 20 deaths.
There are things you can do to help avoid collisions:
Take note of deer warning signs – signs are only positioned where animal crossings are likely, but do remember that crossings can happen anywhere.
Drive with caution – during high risk times (October-December and May – sunset to midnight and around sunrise), or on roads where hitting a deer is a possibility, drive with caution at or below the speed limit.
If you see one, look for another – one deer may follow the other during mating season, or they could be moving in a herd.
Use your lights – after dark use your full beams when appropriate, these will illuminate the animal’s eyes and provide you with a greater reaction time. Upon spotting the animal dim your headlights, as if they are startled by the beam they may freeze rather than leaving the road.
Do not over swerve to avoid hitting a deer – if the collision seems inevitable, then hit it while still maintaining full control of your vehicle rather than swerving into a ditch or oncoming traffic which could be worse. The exception could be motorcyclists who are at a higher risk in direct collisions with animals.
Cars behind you – only brake sharply if there is no danger of being hit by following traffic. Try and stop as far in front of the deer as possible to enable it to leave the road in less panic.
If you have to stop – use your hazard warning lights.
Do not approach an injured deer – it could be dangerous.
Report collisions – report any deer-vehicle collisions to the police.
For more information please visit www.deeraware.com