The Deer Initiative warns that autumn is a high-risk time for motorists.It is the mating season known as The Rut, which increases activity and brings deer out and onto our roads. Triggered by shorter day-length sand darker evenings, there is an increased risk of animals running into a line of oncoming traffic.Deer are more mobile during the hours between sunset and midnight and just after sunrise,times which coincide with the morning and evening rush hour, creating danger for both driver and animal.
Highways, England are working with The Deer Initiative to heighten awareness of collisions between vehicles and animals and both strongly recommend that drivers take more care during rutting season when it is estimated that,in the last year, up to 20 deaths and 400 injuries resulted from 74,000 deer-related accidents across the UK.
With around two million deer living wild in the UK, ensure that you stay safe this autumn by considering the following points:
- Wildlife is unpredictable, try not to suddenly swerve to avoid a deer. The consequences of hitting an obstacle or oncoming traffic may be worse.
- Stay alert, more deer may follow the first.
- Slowing down gives you more time to break if an animal darts into the road.
- In heavily wooded stretches of road, look out for deer warning signs and check your speed.
- If you must stop, use your hazard warning lights.
- Don’t approach live deer, they may hurt you or run across traffic causing another accident.
Considerable damage may be done to a vehicle in a collision with a deer and drivers and passengers could be injured. Reduce the risk of a potentially life threatening incident by remembering how to act as the nights draw in and ensure that you stay safe when driving in the dark this autumn.