We've been writing a lot about taking fall road trips to festivals and to enjoy the beautiful colors.  While it is a terrific idea, it's also the beginning of the time of year when the most deer-vehicle crashes take place

According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, most deer related crashes occur from September through January.

The combination of fewer daylight hours with the increased movement of deer due to mating season and hunting season increases the risk of collisions between deer and vehicles.

Though most people would expect these crashes to be more likely in rural areas, motorists in urban areas also need to watch out for these dangerous — and sometimes deadly — accidents involving deer.

While trying to figure out what an animal is going to do is tricky, the following driving tips can at least help you lower your chances of striking a deer with your vehicle:

  • See the signs: Deer-crossing signs are posted in high-risk areas. Drive with caution, especially in the posted areas.
  • Deer often run together: If one deer is near or crossing the road, expect that others may follow.
  • Danger from dusk to dawn: Watch for deer especially at dawn and after sunset. About 20 percent of these crashes occur in early morning, while more than half occur between 5 p.m. and midnight.
  • Safety begins behind the wheel: Always wear safety belts and drive at safe, sensible speeds for road conditions.
  • Never swerve to avoid a deer in the road. Swerving can confuse the deer on where to run. Swerving also can cause a head-on collision with oncoming vehicles, take the vehicle off the roadway into a tree or a ditch and increase the chances of serious injuries.

 

If your vehicle does strike a deer, you should report the crash by calling local law enforcement, the sheriff’s department, the Minnesota State Patrol or the Department of Natural Resources.

Safe travels!