MOTORISTS: WATCH OUT FOR DEER THIS FALL
Another autumn is almost here, and accompanying
the return of high school football and colorful foliage comes a hazard: an
increase in 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
In Erie County during 2015, 2016, and 2017 deer were involved in an average of 260 crashes per year. “Crash reports show there is a sharp rise in deer-vehicle crashes beginning in October and lasting through the end of December,” he stated. “Almost 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. “Looking at the data for the past three years, deer-related collisions can and do happen nearly everywhere in the county,” Farschman said. “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.
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.
swerve your vehicle to avoid striking a deer. If a collision with a
deer seems probable, 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