MOTORISTS: WATCH OUT FOR DEER THIS FALL
Another autumn is nearly here, and
just as the NFL kicks off a new season and the MLB pennant race begins, a
hazard returns: deer-vehicle
crashes. Most deer-related collisions
occur in October, November, and December, according to the Ohio Department of
Natural Resources. Erie County Engineer John
Farschman says local crash records confirm this.
In Erie County during 2016, 2017, and 2018 deer were involved on average in 250 crashes per year. Crash reports historically show there is an abrupt increase in deer-vehicle crashes during October, November, and December. “Nearly half of deer-related crashes happen during these three months.”
The County Engineer’s Office encourages drivers to remain vigilant no matter what road they travel. Deer-related collisions aren’t limited to specific locations, but can and do happen nearly everywhere in the county. “Therefore, drivers should be aware of the seasonal deer hazard and exercise extra caution while driving this time of year.”
Department of Public Safety, Ohio State Highway Patrol, and Ohio Department of
Natural Resources offer precautionary measures and information for motorists:
- Highest-risk periods are from sunset to midnight
followed by the hours shortly before and after sunrise.
- If you
see one deer on or near a roadway, expect that others may follow.
Slow down and be alert.
- After dark, use high-beams when there is no opposing traffic. The high beams will illuminate the eyes of deer on or near a roadway and provide greater motorist reaction time. But don't rely solely on high-beams or deer whistles to deter such collisions.
wear a seat belt as required by state law and drive at a safe, sensible
speed for conditions.
- Don't swerve your vehicle to avoid striking a deer. If a collision with a deer appears imminent, then hit it while maintaining full control of your vehicle. The alternative could be even worse.
alert. Deer are often unpredictable, especially when faced with
glaring headlights, blowing horns and fast-moving vehicles. They
often dart out into traffic on busy highways in metropolitan areas.
any deer-vehicle collisions to a local law enforcement agency (such as the
Ohio Highway Patrol or county sheriff) or a state wildlife officer within
- Under Ohio law, the driver of a vehicle that strikes and
kills a deer may take possession of it by first obtaining a deer
possession receipt. These are available from law enforcement or
state wildlife officers, and from local ODNR Division of Wildlife district