Drive Carefully--Deer More Active This Time Of Year

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

alert.

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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