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Oh, Deer! Car Accidents Are Slowing Down The Commute

(photo by binks, morguefile)

White-tailed deer are everywhere because of the fall breeding season, especially during morning and evening commutes. Here are some great tips to help you avoid hitting a deer:

The Division of Fish and Wildlife says the peak mating season for deer in our state is underway and will last until the middle of December. Driving in darkness, low light or in sun glare could make it difficult to get any advanced warning about a deer or two darting in front of your car. And now that it’s getting dark earlier, things are even harder on our roadways. Here are the tips:

— If you spot a deer on the road, pay attention to possible sudden movement. If the deer doesn’t move, don’t go around it. Wait for it to pass and until the road is clear.

— If you are driving after dark, use your high beams whenever there is no oncoming traffic. High beams will be reflected by the eyes of deer on or near roads.

— If you see one deer, be on guard. Others may be around. Deer typically move in family groups at this time of year and cross roads single-file. Female deer are being chased by bucks and during breeding phase are often unaware of traffic.

— If a collision with a deer appears inevitable, don’t swerve to avoid the impact. The deer may counter-maneuver suddenly. Brake appropriately, but stay in your lane. Collisions are more likely to become fatal when a driver swerves to avoid a deer and instead collides with oncoming traffic or a pole or other fixed object along the road.

— And, of course, slow down, pay attention to ‘Deer Crossing’ signs, and don’t tailgate in case the driver in front of you has to stop suddenly to avoid hitting a deer.

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