Motorists are urged to be alert for these animals.
Deer on the side of a road (Photo from Md. Dept. of Transportation)
Frederick, Md (KM) The period between October and December is deer mating season, and that’s when they’re very active. Sometimes that can lead to collisions between deer and motor vehicles.
Deputy 1st Class Bryan Bittenmaster with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office says motorists need to be extra alert for deer, especially during the morning and evening hours when they’re most active. He says it’s best to plan ahead for your trip, and leave with plenty of time to get to your destination. “Slow it down. Use your GPS; use whatever application you have to make sure you’re on the way. Limit your distraction; put the phone down; remember what’s important now. Eyes on the road,” he says.
“If you’re in a dark area, you have rain, fog, snow, etc,; where it’s appropriate and piratical, use your high beams,. and slow down,” he continues. “Don’t overdrive you headlights. You’re driving around a blind curve, slow it down. Anticipate that big buck running out in front of you and have a reaction gap.”
When encountering a deer, Dfc Bittenmaster says sound the horn on your vehicle to let other motorists sharing the road with you that there’s a deer up ahead.. “Because if we help our fellow citizen, we want to do that as well.”
Dfc Bittenmaster says if you see one deer running across the road, be prepared to stop as there are probably other deer following along.
“Call 911 if you’re been involved in an injury accident. Your vehicle’s totaled. You’re a roadway hazard at that point,” he continues. “If it’s safe and practical to move your vehicle to the side of the road, do that. Activate your hazard signal. Stay in the vehicle. That’s probably going to be the safest place to be.”
AAA says don’t make contact with a frightened or injured deer or other animal. It could hurt you or further injure itself.,
The auto club also says that in Maryland, the average claim for an animal strike in 2022 was more than $6300, an increase of 60-percent over five years.
By Kevin McManus