News release from INDOT:
Watch for Deer on Indiana’s Roadways
Tips for avoiding deer-vehicle collisions
(October 5, 2015) – The Indiana Department of Transportation urges drivers to stay alert as deer become more active in fall months on Indiana’s highways.
Nearly 50 percent of all vehicle crashes involving deer occur between October and December. Deer are generally more active in late October into early November during deer mating season. And with many farmers harvesting crops, deer could be on the move at anytime, encountering roads more frequently and increasing the potential for collisions.
According to State Farm Insurance, the odds of an Indiana driver hitting a deer are one in 142. Across the state annually, thousands of motorists report deer-related collisions, including deer-vehicle collisions, as well as vehicles crashing as a result of attempting to avoid a collision with deer.
With the increased number of deer heading toward the roadways, as well as the number of vehicles – deer-vehicle collisions will happen. But, drivers can take measures to keep these collisions to a minimum. Knowing when deer are most active and practicing defensive driving will help reduce your chances of becoming a statistic:
- Deer are most active between sunset and sunrise, especially in rural areas.
- Deer often travel in groups. If you see one, others are likely nearby. Stay alert!
- Pay special attention in areas where you have seen deer before and in areas near “Deer Crossing” warning signs.
- Exercise caution along woodlot edges, at hills and blind turns.
- Use high beam headlights at night when there is no opposing traffic.
- Scan for illuminated eyes and dark silhouettes on or near the side of the roadway.
- If you see a deer, slow your speed drastically, even if it is far away.
- NEVER swerve to avoid hitting a deer. More serious crashes occur when drivers try to miss a deer but hit something else.
- Buckle up!
Even when practicing safe driving, sometimes hitting a deer is inevitable. Caution also is the best approach after the fact. If a driver hits a deer, it is important to remain calm and do not touch it or approach it. Drivers should remain in the vehicle, make sure everyone is safe and call the police to obtain a crash report for the insurance company. Motorists are required to report any crash with at least $1,000 in property damage or if someone is injured.
To report a deer carcass on an interstate, US highway or state road, the INDOT Fort Wayne District can be contacted by calling toll-free 1-866-227-3555 or emailing NEinformation@indot.in.gov.
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