Tadpole's Outdoor Blog

October 22, 2010

Caution: Season for deer on roadways

Filed under: Fishing & Hunting — Freddie Keel @ 8:18 pm

Caution: Season for deer on roadways Tips for how to avoid hitting a deer Updated:

Monday, 11 Oct 2010, 10:51 AM CDT Published : Monday, 11 Oct 2010, 10:51 AM CDT AUSTIN (KXAN) –

Animals on the highway can cause driver fatalities and Texas Department of Transportation officials remind motorists to be alert for deer on roadways, especially at night. TxDOT said more than 7,000 animal-related crashes happened on state highways in 2009. Of those, 25 involved a fatality. “Deer-vehicle collisions increase during the fall because the animals are more active,” said Carol Rawson, traffic operations director. “It’s this time of year that motorists need to be extra watchful and take steps to avoid collisions.” Texas Parks and Wildlife biologists predict an increase in deer population this year because of plenty of rain that has created an ideal environment for wildlife to flourish. There have been more than 1.5 million deer-car crashes in the United States which cost an estimated $1.1 billion in vehicle damage, according to reports from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Defensive driving tips to avoid hitting a deer include: Drive carefully in areas known to have high deer populations. Places where roads divide agricultural fields 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 will reflect off a deer’s eyes and warn a driver 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. Wear seat belts. If your car strikes a deer, don’t touch the animal. If the deer is blocking the highway, call the police. It is unlawful to possess a deer or part of a deer that has been hit by a motor vehicle.

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