OHIO – Fall is mating season for deer, when love is in the air more deer are moving around for the months of October, November, and December.
“Deer-vehicle collisions increase dramatically between October and December, as deer cross roads and highways more frequently in search of mates,” said ODNR, “Drivers should be especially careful around forest preserves or wooded areas.”
“Being alert, driving safely, and keeping your eye on the road may help reduce your chances of being in a collision with a deer during the fall breeding season.”
OSP reports that since 2017, there have been 101,912 deer-related crashes on Ohio’s roadways. While 95 percent of deer-related crashes only resulted in property damage, 29 crashes resulted in fatal injuries to motorists, with 31 killed.
- Slow down. Watch for deer especially around dawn and between the hours of 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., when they’re most active.
Be aware. Look out for deer-crossing signs and wooded areas where animals are likely to travel. If you travel the same route to and from work every day, you may find deer consistently grazing in the same fields. Make a mental note of when and where you regularly see the animals.
- Be alert. If you see an animal on the side of the road, slow down. At night when traffic permits, put on your high beams for improved visibility.
Brake, don’t swerve. Swerving to avoid an animal can put you at risk for hitting another vehicle or losing control of your car. It can also confuse the animal as to which way to go. Instead, just slow down as quickly and safely as you can. Your odds for surviving an accident are better when hitting an animal than hitting another car.
- Assume they have friends. The “where there’s one, there’s usually more” often holds true. Deer travel in groups, so if you see one run across the road, expect others to follow.
- Don’t rely on deer whistles. These are aftermarket devices that some drivers put on their front bumpers to scare off animals. But animal behavior remains unpredictable, even if you use one of these.
- Buckle up. A seat belt is your best defense for minimizing your risk in a crash. An Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study found that 60 percent of the people killed in animal-vehicle collisions weren’t wearing their seat belts.