So far this year, there have been 9,341 deer collisions in Ohio, according to OSHP.
Deer become more active from late October through November due to the fall breeding season, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Motorists are advised to be extra cautious in areas where fencerows, riparian corridors or other forested habitats are near the road.
“Always avoid distractions and keep your full focus on the roadway,” said Col. Richard Fambro of the OSHP. “If you see a deer slow down, but do not swerve. If you strike a deer, move to a safe place if you are able, turn on your hazard lights and report the crash.”
ODNR wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker reminded motorists that deer rarely run alone.
“If you see one deer, be on the lookout for others nearby,” she said.
The OSHP offered the following tips to avoid deer collisions:
- Scan the road ahead to help give you enough reaction time if needed. Remember some animals, including deer, move in groups. So if there is one, there are probably more in the area.
- Use high beam headlights if there is no oncoming traffic to help spot deer or other wildlife more quickly. High beams also help spot animals’ reflective eyes.
- Be extra cautious at dawn and dusk when deer tend to be more active.
- If a collision is unavoidable, brake firmly and stay in your lane. Swerving can result in a more serious crash or cause you to lose control of your vehicle. If you swerve to miss a deer and hit something else you could be charged for an at-fault crash.
- Wear a seat belt and stay awake, alert and sober. The chances of getting injured when hitting an animal are higher if you don’t wear a seat belt.