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Motorists Reminded To Watch Out For Deer

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RALEIGH, N.C. — To help decrease the number of wildlife and automobile crashes, the state Department of Transportation is reminding motorists to be aware of the increased presence of deer on North Carolina's roads.

Each year, there are over 14,000 reported animal/vehicle crashes, mostly involving deer, that result in an estimated $31 million in property damage, according to the DOT.

The peak time for deer/vehicle collisions tends to be in the fall, between October and December, with most occurring in the early morning and in the early to late evening.

There is increased potential for crashes as deer activity increases due to mating season and movement related to hunting season. The decreasing daylight makes it more difficult to see and react to deer in the roadway.

Here are some suggestions for motorists to avoid deer-vehicle collisions:

  • Drive slower and be more aware of surroundings during the late evening and near daylight, especially in posted deer areas.
  • Drive with headlights on high beam when possible.
  • Watch out for eyes reflected in the headlights.
  • Reduce speed if you see deer, even if they are far from the road.
  • Deer often travel in groups, so do not assume that all is clear if one deer has already passed.
  • Between 2000-2003, Wake County had the highest number of animal-related crashes with 5,421, and Swain County had the least with six crashes.

    Between 2002 and 2003, the number of animal-related crashes in North Carolina rose from 14,037 to 15,543. Approximately 90 percent of all reported animal-related crashes involve deer.

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