Drivers beware: Deer on move

Published 11:32 pm Thursday, December 17, 2015


With more deer on the move this time of year, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources asks drivers to stay alert, especially during hours around dusk and dawn.

“As the breeding season occurs during the winter months in Alabama, their activity will increase during this time,” said Wildlife Chief Keith Gauldin. “When bucks are actively pursuing does in low light conditions, they can quickly appear out of nowhere.”

Gauldin said while a few may be solitary, most will travel in groups. “If you see one deer, there may be others following behind, so drive with caution.”

The Insurance Information Institute offers these tips to avoid hitting deer:

• Be especially attentive from sunset to midnight and during the hours shortly before and after sunrise. These are the highest risk times for deer-vehicle collisions.

• Drive with caution when moving through deer-crossing zones, in areas known to have a large deer population and in areas where roads divide agricultural fields from forestland. Deer seldom run alone. If you see one deer, others may be nearby.

• When driving at night, use high beam headlights when there is no oncoming traffic. The high beams will better illuminate the eyes of deer on or near the roadway.

• Slow down and blow your horn with one long blast to frighten the deer away.

• Brake firmly when you notice a deer in or near your path, but stay in your lane. Many serious crashes occur when drivers swerve to avoid a deer and hit another vehicle or lose control of their cars.

• Always wear your seat belt. Most people injured in car/deer crashes were not wearing their seat belt.

• Do not rely on devices such as deer whistles, deer fences and reflectors to deter deer. These devices have not been proven to reduce deer-vehicle collisions.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources.