Motorists warned of deer danger

National Highways and the British Deer Society are warning drivers to be extra vigilant for deer on or near roads.

Tuesday, 16th November 2021, 1:46 pm

They warned that there is a substantial increase in deer vehicle collisions from October to December.

A spokesman said: “Poorer driving conditions and fewer hours of daylight, coupled with the annual breeding season (the rut) for red, sika and fallow deer, make this a high-risk time of year.

Research over the years by the DeerAware campaign has also found that the risk increases after the clock change at the end of October.

“This is because drivers find themselves more likely to be on the road when deer are most active from sunset to midnight and the hours shortly before and after sunrise.”

National Highways Head of Road User Safety Jeremy Phillips added: “This time of year we see an increase in the number of deer collisions and our advice is to take care while driving and look out for deer.”

The agency advises drivers to:

When seeing deer warning signs or travelling through a heavily wooded or forested stretch of road, check your speed and stay alert

Use full-beams when possible but dip if you see deer as they may ‘freeze’ on the spot

If you see a deer, look for another. They often gather in herds and follow each other as they move through the landscape.

Only brake sharply and stop if there is no danger of being hit by following traffic, use your hazard lights. Try to come to a stop as far away from an animal as possible to enable it to leave the roadside without panic. Try not to suddenly swerve to avoid a deer. Hitting oncoming traffic or another obstacle could lead to a more serious collision.

Anyone who finds themselves involved in a collision is advised to:

Keep yourself and anyone with you as safe as you can.

Park the car in the safest place with hazard lights on. Consider using it to also warn other road users.

Call an ambulance if human injuries warrant it.

Call the police.

The police can also contact specialists to deal with injured deer.

Never try to move deer off the road yourself as this will put you at great risk of injury.

Visit the agency’s website at: www.deeraware.com/