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Some initial hints for drivers to reduce risk of deer vehicle collisions:

  • Do take note of deer warning signs - by driving with caution at or below the posted speed limit. Such signs are positioned only where wildlife crossings are likely.
  • The main national peaks in deer related traffic collisions occur during May, followed by mid October through December. Highest-risk periods are from sunset to midnight followed by the hours shortly before and after sunrise.
  • Be aware that further deer may well cross after the first ones you have noticed .
  • After dark, do use full-beams when there is no opposing traffic. The headlight beam will illuminate the eyes of deer and provide greater driver reaction time. BUT, when a deer or other animal is noted on the road, dim your headlights as animals startled by the beam may ‘freeze’ instead of leaving the road.
  • Don't overswerve to avoid hitting a deer. If a collision with the animal seems inevitable, then hit it while maintaining full control of your car. The alternative of swerving into oncoming traffic or a ditch could be even worse. An exception here may be motorcyclists, who are at particular risk when in direct collisions with animals.
  • Only break sharply and stop if there is no danger of being hit by following traffic. Try to come to a stop as far in front of the animals as possible to enable it to leave the roadside without panic.
  • Report any deer-vehicle collisions to the police (who should be able to contact the local person best placed to assist with an injured deer at the roadside)' and please record it HERE to assist our hotspot research.
  • Finally, remember to .. Stay alert - Deer on Roads

Sample Deer on Roads videos ©Jochen Langbein

For more clips see Deer Near Misses Playlist

For most recent research reports on DVC montoring in England click here and in Scotland click here .

For an overview of Mitigation Methods aimed at prevention of deer vehicle collisions click Table Image below :

click Table to open

For further detail on deterrents and other measures see selection of reports below:

i. Traffic Collisions involving deer and other ungulates in Europe (2011) by Jochen Langbein, Rory Putman and Bostjan Pokorny). [see Chapter 8 , pp. 215-259 In : Ungulate Management in Europe - Problems & Pratices (eds Putman, Appolonio, Andersen ].

ii. COLLISION CAUSE - Article by Jochen Langbein and Rory Putman examining a range of measures designed to reduce deer related accidents, [ DEER magazine (2006)Vol .13(10), p.19-23]: to download pdf copy click here.

iii) Literature review and report commissioned by the Deer Commission for Scotland: R.J. Putman, J. Langbein and B.W.Staines (2004) 'DEER AND ROAD TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS: A REVIEW OF MITIGATION MEASURES - COSTS AND COST-EFFECTIVENESS'. To download a copy of this report in .doc format ( 650kb) click here .

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