This time of year (autumn) brings beautiful fall foliage, cooler weather and the start of the holiday season. Unless you or your loved ones are hunters, you may not think about the fact that these months also bring the rut and hunting season. The rut (breeding season) causes deer to be focused on reproduction and decreases their attention to much else. They are more likely to dart across the road, especially during the evening and night hours. This, combined with daylight savings time, brings a much higher risk of restricted views and vehicles colliding with deer on the roadway.
According to the insurance company State Farm, Pennsylvania is in the top five states with the highest chances of hitting a deer (1 in 54 chance of a crash). The highest risk months, in order, are November, then October, followed by December.
Avoiding a crash
Some things to do to avoid a crash include:
- Staying alert, especially in the evening and at night
- Don’t watch the deer crossing the road – wait for a buck to be following behind
- Use your high beams
- Scan the sides of the road to see possible deer before they cross
- Follow speed limits to ensure easier breaking if needed
- Avoid unnecessary travel in the dark
If you do have a vehicle collision with a deer, here are some things to do afterwards:
- Move your vehicle to a safe place
- Keep your distance from the animal. If it is injured it may try to get up and run
- Call the police to report the accident
- Take photos of the damage to your vehicle
Contact PennDOT to remove deer from the side of public roads.