During the day or at night, encountering a deer while you’re on the road can be dangerous and scary. Deer season is upon us and the Greene County Safe Communities Coalition would like to remind you that your safety on Greene County roadways is a top priority. In 2011, there were 22,717 deer-vehicle crashes statewide with 902 people injured and seven people killed. November saw the most crashes with 5,476, or 182 per day. Greene County saw its fair share of deer-vehicle activity in 2011 totaling 354 crashes resulting in 17 injuries, but no fatalities. Because many deer-vehicle collisions go unreported to police and local authorities, the actual number of crashes throughout Ohio may be as high as 60,000 each year. Last year, the areas with the highest number of deer-vehicle crashes were urban areas.
What can you do to stay safe during deer season? Knowing what to do when you encounter a large animal on or near the roadway can be a life-saver. Here are some tips:
Deer are most often along the road side near dawn (7AM) and again at dusk (7:30PM).
Deer highly active and on the move from October through early January.
Deer are most frequently found on the outskirts of town and in heavily wooded areas.
Deer usually travel in pacts.
To avoid a deer-vehicle collision, slow down.
Always wear a seatbelt.
Watch for the shine of eyes along the roadside and immediately begin to slow.
Use your high beams whenever the road is free of oncoming traffic.
Slow down and flash your lights if you see a deer standing in the road.
Some experts recommend one long blast of the horn to scare them out of the road.
Pay close attention to caution signs indicating deer or other large animals.
If you’re on a multi-lane road, drive in the center lane.
Never swerve to avoid a deer in the road.
Don’t rely on hood whistles or other devices designed to scare off deer.
If you do collide with a deer, call emergency services if injuries are involved.
If you do collide with a deer, call local police if no one is injured.
If you do collide with a deer, peport it to your insurance company as soon as possible.
Keeping calm and driving smart improve your chances of avoiding a collision and staying safe on the road. These tips have been provided by Dawn McCaslin, www.geico.com. For more information on the Greene County Safe Communities Coalition, call Laurie Fox at 937-374-5669 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.