Kym Kemp / @ 5:17 p.m. / Public Safety

Deer Mating Season Means Car Accidents on the Rise


Caltrans Press Release:

Autumn is deer mating season – which means deer are on the move and less cautious about darting out into the road. It is also mating season for elk, which are less numerous than deer, but just as hazardous to motorists here in northern California. 

“During these fall months, we see a spike in traffic collisions as a result of deer in the roadway,” said California Highway Patrol Captain Adam Jager.  “The best way to avoid this type of collision is to always maintain a safe speed and stay vigilant of deer that may have entered the roadway.  Driving distracted or under the influence will greatly increase your chances of being involved in a car versus deer collision.” 

Drivers should be extra vigilant this time of year and follow these tips for driving in deer country: 

·        Be particularly attentive between sunset and midnight, the hours shortly before and after sunrise, and in foggy conditions. Most deer-vehicle collisions occur during these times. 
·        Drive carefully in areas known to have high deer populations. Places where roads divide agricultural fields or streams from forestland are particularly dangerous. 
·        If you see a deer, slow down. Others are probably nearby. 
·        Use high-beam headlights when there is no oncoming traffic. The high beams can reflect off animal eyes and warn you of their presence. 
·        If a deer is in your lane, brake firmly but stay in the lane. The most serious crashes occur when drivers swerve. 
·        Don’t rely on deer whistles, deer fences, or reflectors to deter deer. 
·        Always wear seat belts when driving. 
·        If your car strikes a deer, don’t touch the animal. If the deer is blocking the highway, call 911. 

“Safety is everyone’s responsibility, remember to use extra caution and stay alert when driving so you will arrive safely to your destination,” said Charlie Fielder, Caltrans District 1 Director. 

Driving tips used with permission from the National Park Service.


 


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