NCDOT issues warning regarding collisions with deer

Greenville, N.C. (WNCT)- With temperatures cooling in the east, a travel warning has been issued regarding deer.

Fall is the prime time of the year when a greater number of deer are spotted along roadways. This creates a greater risk for collisions with cars.Traditionally, November records the highest number of animal-related crashes. Many people think this issue is due to hunting and mating season, but it is harvest season that gets deer moving to eat. Insurance companies see a higher risk of claims reported this time of year. They warn drivers to be extra careful driving now through January.

“You can have an accident with a deer right here in town,” said Mack Beale with State Farm Insurance, “but the most dangerous accidents happen out in rural areas or out on roads where people can drive 55 to 65 mph.”

Drivers should be aware deer tend to travel in numbers and more frequently at night.

The Department of Transportation has some tips for drivers to avoid being in a crash with a deer:

  • Slowdown in posted deer crossing areas and heavily wooded areas, especially during the late afternoon and evening
  • Always wear your seat belt. Most people injured in deer-vehicle crashes were not wearing their seat belts
  • Statistics indicate most deer-vehicle crashes occur in areas where deer are more likely to travel, such as near bridges or overpasses, railroad tracks, streams and ditches
  • Drive with high beams on when possible, and watch for eyes reflecting in the headlights
  • Remember that deer often travel in groups, so do not assume that if you see one deer cross the road in front of you, there won’t be others following
  • Slow down and blow your horn with one long blast to frighten the deer away
  • Increase the distance between your vehicle and other cars, especially at night. If the car ahead of you hits a deer, you could also become involved in the crash
  • Do not swerve to avoid a collision with deer. This could cause you to lose control of your vehicle, and flip it over, veer into oncoming traffic or over correct and run off the road, causing a more serious crash
  • Do not rely on devices such as deer whistles or reflectors to deter deer as these devices have not been proven to reduce deer-vehicle crashes
  • If your vehicle strikes a deer, do not touch the animal. A frightened and wounded deer can hurt you or further injure itself. The best procedure is to get your car off the road if possible, and call 911.

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