Drive Carefully--Deer More Active This Time Of Year
Originally published October 4, 2012 at 6 a.m., updated October 3, 2012 at 7:58 a.m.
Colonel Ron Replogle, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol,
reminds drivers to watch for deer, which are more active this time of year.
Drivers should be especially vigilant during evening and early dawn hours.
Deer behavior changes due to mating season, which may cause an increase in
roadway crossings. Hunting and crop harvesting may result in these animals
being in places they aren’t usually seen. Drivers are urged to remain
Last year, drivers in Missouri experienced 3,563 traffic crashes where
deer-vehicle strikes occurred. One deer strike occurred every 2.5 hours in
the state. In these crashes, four people were killed and 367 injured.
When you see deer, slow down and proceed with caution. Deer often travel in
groups--stay on guard after a close call or when you see one deer. Natural
features also affect deer movement. In areas where there are streams or
wooded corridors surrounded by farmland, look for more deer to cross
roadways. Remember: Rural areas are not the only place where deer/vehicle
strikes occur. In 2011, 26.7 percent of the traffic crashes involving deer
happened in urban areas.
Deer create hazards for Missouri motorists. The majority of deer strike
crashes occur from October through December each year, with the largest
number taking place in November. Most deer strikes occur between the hours
of 5 p.m. and 6:59 a.m. The Missouri State Highway Patrol reminds drivers
that an attempt to avoid striking a deer could result in a more serious
crash involving oncoming traffic. Try to remain calm. Panicking and
overreacting usually lead to more serious traffic crashes. Please stay
alert, and make sure you and the occupants of your vehicle buckle up!
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