White-Tailed Deer Mating Season, Drivers Watch Out!

November is white-tailed deer mating season, drivers watch out!

Statistics show that in the month of November, which is also mating season for white-tailed deer, the number of deer related auto accidents increases drastically.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and State Farm Insurance rank Virginia as one of the top 10 states for deer related auto accidents. The NHTSA reported that there about 1.5 million deer related auto accidents in the United States annually.  State Farm reported 54,135 claims filed in Virginia, being fifth in the nation last year.

The Virginia Department of Transportation reported 3 deaths, 434 injuries, and 5,753 reports of property damage in the state of Virginia last year.

Tips to dealing with deer on the road provided by the Insurance Information Institute:

  • From sunset to midnight and right before and after sunrise are deer related auto accident peak times. Be sure to pay special attention when traveling during these times.
  • Take deer-crossing zones seriously and travel with caution when you are in areas known for these collisions.  Note that deer rarely run alone, so if you see one, there are probably more nearby!
  • If you are driving at night, and there is no oncoming traffic, be sure use your high beams.  This helps to illuminate the eyes of deer.
  • You can frighten deer away by blowing the horn (one long blast).
  • If there is a deer in your path, brake firmly and stay in your lane.  The most serious crashes occur when drivers swerve or lose control of their vehicles when trying to avoid hitting the deer.
  • Seat belts are a must, always!
  • Finally, don’t rely on those old tricks; deer whistles, deer fences, and reflectors were never proven to be effective.

So when you are traveling this holiday season, please remember to be aware and cautious!