The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR) has issued a reminder urging drivers to exercise caution when driving during the fall months, as collisions with deer typically increase during this time of year.
“Because West Virginia has an abundant white-tailed deer population, there are more opportunities for collisions, especially during the peak breeding season in October and November when deer are more active,” said Tyler Evans, DNR Wildlife Resources Section wildlife biologist. “On average, about 40 percent of deer-vehicle collisions in West Virginia take place between October and December.”
According to the DNR, West Virginia’s rugged terrain also contributes to the number of deer collisions, with many deer living in valleys where conditions allow for agricultural production and more natural food sources. Winding roads bordered by forests also reduce the distance drivers can see animals ahead ahead of them, increasing the chances of collisions
The DNR have offered the following tips for drivers to reduce their likelihood of collision with a deer:
- Be aware of your surroundings and make use of your peripheral vision.
- If you see a deer in the roadway, immediately reduce your speed and honk your horn using short blasts.
- Drive with your headlights on, and use high beams wherever it is safe to do so.
- Drive at a reduced speed, especially during early morning and late evening hours when deer are more active.
- Do not swerve or leave your lane to avoid a deer. Instead, if you encounter a deer, press your brake pedal firmly and attempt to stop.
- Always drive defensively.