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DOT: Watch For Deer on the Roads in Fall

Posted October 1, 2007

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— Transportation officials asked motorists to be cautious this fall when more deer on the roads increases the potential for accidents.

The majority of traffic accidents involving deer occur between October and December, when mating and hunting seasons make deer more active. Accidents with nocturnal deer are most likely between 5 p.m. and 7 a.m.

The state Department of Transportation gave these suggestions to avoid collisions with deer:

  • Slow down in posted deer-crossing areas and heavily wooded areas, especially during the dark hours of fall.
  • Drive with high beams on, when possible, and watch out for eyes reflecting in the headlights.
  • Deer often travel in groups, so do not assume that all 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.

Of the 15,000 animal-related accidents reported statewide each year, 90 percent involve deer. Between 2004 and 2006, such accidents caused 17 human deaths, nearly 3,000 human injuries and $107 million in property damage.

Wake County leads the state with the highest number of animal-related collisions at 2,637 for that same period. Johnston County ranked 5th with 1,249.

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