When is Mating Season for Deer?
The beginning of October marks the start of the deer mating season. The breeding season for deer takes place from October until January. This time of year we see a significant increase in deer-related vehicle collisions. As the deer are chasing each other during this time, they tend to run out into the street, causing drivers to either run into them or swerve, resulting in even worse crashes.
Whether you are driving a passenger vehicle or a semi-truck, it’s essential to drive with extra caution during this time. Here are some things to keep in mind during this deer mating season to stay safe on the road.
Check The Time!
Dusk and Dawn are the times of day when deer are the most active. This activity escalates during the mating season. If you are driving through a forest or wooded area during sunset/sunrise, be even more alert for deer running out into the street.
Make Some Noise!
If you happen to see a deer on or near the road, honk your horn. A long blast of your car horn can help to scare deer away from the road.
Watch Out for Deer Crossing Signs.
Deer crossing signs are a good indicator that you should slow down and stay vigilant! These signs are yellow and diamond-shaped, with a deer on them. They are placed in places where deer frequently frolic so pay attention when you see one.
Take Extra Caution at Night.
Driving at night can be treacherous during this time of the year. If you are able to, use your high beam lights when possible at night. This will provide a clear line of sight and allow you to spot deer from a greater distance.
Keep Weather Conditions in Mind.
Unfortunately, deer breeding happened during the time of year which also brings harsher weather conditions. As we get closer to winter and start to see snow and black ice driving slowly and cautiously will be more important than ever. Deer running out into the street coupled with these kinds of conditions can be a recipe for disaster. Check out our blog on Winter Driving Safety for more tips on staying safe while on the road in the winter.
Hit The Brakes!
If by some chance a deer does happen to run out in front of your vehicle, don’t swerve out of the way. Your best option is to Brake as quickly as possible to avoid or minimize impact. Swerving to avoid hitting a deer can end up in an even worse accident.
What You Should Do if You Hit a Deer.
- When it is safe, drivers should pull over to the side of the road, allowing other vehicles to move by.
- Passengers should remain in the vehicle with the hazard lights on until it is safe.
- If the deer is alive, leave it alone. It could be injured and confused, making it dangerous to approach.
- Police should be contacted. Alert them to the presence of the deer in the case of it being a hazard in the road.
- Commercial truck drivers should contact their supervisor to report the accident.