How to avoid deer-vehicle collisions

Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 7:22 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - As we get deeper into the fall season, the deer are once again on the move.

With whitetail deer breeding season in full effect from late October through November, the threat of deer-vehicle collisions is higher than usual.

Meredith Gilbert, a Wildlife Communication Specialist with the Ohio Division of Wildlife, says “The males typically come into the rut earlier than the females are receptive to breeding, so that often causes quite a bit of pursuit. Therefore, the males are chasing the females and sort of chase them without any caution, so they’re darting out into roads more often and moving around a lot more, so it’s just that males pursuing females that increases the crashes.”

To keep yourself and your vehicle safe on the roadways, there’s a few simple things that everyone can do. Meredith advises “The biggest advice we can give is to avoid driving distracted. Keep your eyes on the road, keep your focus on the road, then you’re much more likely to be able to avoid a situation if you really focus on driving.”

She also added “When driving particularly at dawn and dusk, really be scanning the road. Deer most days are active during that time, so if you’re driving by wooded areas or a fencerow, be really cautious of those areas. Also, if you’re driving at night and there’s no oncoming traffic, you should use your high beams so you can see further down the road.”

If a deer does run out in front of you, the best thing you can do is hit your brakes. Swerving may cause you to strike another vehicle or lose control of your own. In the worst case scenario that you do hit a deer, the first thing you should do assess your own physical condition and anyone else in the vehicle. If necessary, call emergency services. If everyone is okay, then you should report the incident to the police. Lastly, if your vehicle sustains damage, contact your insurance provider.

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