Oh Deer

Are you seeing more deer crossing the roads lately? If so, you aren’t alone. I’ve had to hit my brakes to avoid a deer several times in the past month. The months of October, November, and December are mating (or rutting) season for white tailed deer, and males can be more unpredictable during this time. Please use caution when driving.

NCDOT gave the following safety tips in a news release this fall:

  • Slow down in posted deer crossing areas and heavily wooded areas, especially during the late afternoon and evening;
  • Statistics indicate most car-deer crashes occur near bridges or overpasses. Deer also follow railroad tracks, streams and ditches;
  • Drive with high beams on, when possible, and watch out for eyes reflecting in the headlights;
  • Remember that deer often travel in groups, so do not assume that the road is clear if one deer has already passed;
  • Do not swerve to avoid contact with deer. This could cause the vehicle to flip or veer into oncoming traffic, causing a more serious crash. Swerving also can confuse the deer as to where to run;
  • If you see a deer near or on the road, give you car horn one long blast. This sound gives the deer an audible signal to avoid; and
  • Increase the distance between your vehicle and other cars, especially at night. If the car ahead of you hits a deer, you may also become involved in the accident.

For more information (including data about animal/vehicle collisions in NC) click here: https://apps.ncdot.gov/newsreleases/details.aspx?r=7114