Add large wildlife to the list of hazards on the roads this fall. According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety, drivers need to be on the lookout for deer, especially this October. Data suggests that each year, your risk of getting into an accident caused by a deer increases in the fall, due to mating season which runs from October through December.
Deer Crash Statistics
According to ODPS, approximately 18,000 deer-related crashes were reported in 2018, causing three deaths and almost 1,000 injuries. An adult male white-tailed deer can weigh up to 300 pounds and spans about 78 inches in length, that, combined with a full head of antlers means crashing into one can cause substantial damage both to your vehicle and your body.
Avoiding a collision with these large animals can save you a lot of headache, both physically and financially.
Tips For Avoiding Deer On The Road
Deer, like most animals, are unpredictable but there are a few tips you can use to decrease your chance of a dangerous run-in with these large animals including:
- Being aware of the time of day and practicing extra vigilance during active times – deer are usually most active during dusk and dawn
- Be sure your headlights are on – you may even want to use your high beams in darker conditions (if there is no oncoming traffic)
- Noting deer crossing signs and observe extreme caution in these areas – the Department of Transportation puts up deer crossing signs in common intersections
- Take your time going around curves and corners – you might not be able to see a deer crossing before going around a corner or turn
- Watch for more than one – deer can travel in small groups so if you see one crossing the road, others may follow
As with other hazards, driving more slowly in high-risk areas and practicing extra vigilance can help you avoid a dangerous deer-related crash.
If you come close to hitting a deer on the road, do not swerve to try and avoid it as you may veer into oncoming traffic or risk turning your car over. A crash with another vehicle can be more dangerous than a deer.
However, should you end up hitting a deer this fall, contact law enforcement, report and document the incident. Be sure to thoroughly check your car for damage and do not assume it’s still drive-able.
Stay safe and be cautious of our white-tailed friends on the road.