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Sunday, November 10, 2013

November is the top month for deer-vehicle collisions

A car damaged in a collision with a deer. [FCPD photo]

Be careful driving. November is deer breeding season, which means there are more deer on the roadways.

In November 2012, there were 27 deer-vehicle collisions in Fairfax County, which is more than another month, reports the Fairfax County Police Department. December had the next-highest number with 18. So far, this year, there have been four collisions involving deer. There was a total of 140 in 2012.

Deer movements and behaviors may be unpredictable and deer-vehicle collisions are a serious public safety concern,” states a FCPD news release. Deer are most active between 6 and 9 p.m., so be especially alert when it gets dark.

Deer hunting is allowed in many Fairfax County parks from September through Feb. 15, but the deer breeding season is prime time for hunting, so be especially alert for deer running across the road to avoid being shot by bowhunters.

The police department offers these safety tips:
  • Watch for “eye shine” along roadsides. Deer travel in herds so if you see one, others might be near. Use high beams when traffic permits to spot them at a greater distance.
  • Deer crossing signs mark areas of high deer travel. Immediately begin to slow down if you spot a deer.
  • If a deer jumps in your vehicle’s path, continue to reduce speed and grasp the steering wheel firmly with both hands.
  • If a deer is stopped in the roadway, reduce speed and flash your headlights. Deer can become mesmerized or blinded by bright steady lights.
  • If a collision seems inevitable, attempting to swerve out of the way could cause loss of control and increase the chance of a more serious injury. This applies to all smaller animals, too.
  • Never depend on hood whistles, car horns, or other devices to scare deer out of your path. Several studies have shown that these methods do not always work.
If a deer is injured or killed, call the Fairfax County Police Department non-emergency number, 703-691-2131.

1 comment:

  1. We have been in Broyhill Crest for 15 years, and I have seen more deer out in the neighborhood this year than all previous years combined--often very close to the road. All the more reason to stick close to the 25 mph speed limit, especially at dusk and into the night.