‘Drivers Should Be Extra Vigilant This Time of Year and Follow These Tips for Driving in Deer Country’

This is a press release from Caltrans District 1:

Caltrans District CTAutumn is deer mating season – which means deer are on the move and less cautious about darting out into the road.  For example, in the past two weeks, Caltrans crews in Ukiah and Lake County have seen an increase in deer collisions.  “This happens every fall, but it catches drivers off guard, especially at dusk and right before dawn”, said Caltrans Maintenance Manager Marty Sills.   It is also mating season for elk, which are less numerous than deer, but just as hazardous to motorists here in northern California.

Drivers should be extra vigilant this time of year and follow these tips for driving in deer country:

  • Be particularly attentive between sunset and midnight, the hours shortly before and after sunrise, and in foggy conditions. Most deer-vehicle collisions occur during these times.
  • Drive carefully in areas known to have high deer populations. Places where roads divide agricultural fields or streams from forestland are particularly dangerous.
  • If you see a deer, slow down. Others are probably nearby.
  • Use high-beam headlights when there is no oncoming traffic. The high beams can reflect off animal eyes and warn you of their presence.
  • If a deer is in your lane, brake firmly but stay in the lane. The most serious crashes occur when drivers swerve.
  • Don’t rely on deer whistles, deer fences, or reflectors to deter deer.
  • If your car strikes a deer, don’t touch the animal. If the deer is blocking the highway, call 911.

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7 comments

  • Can we hear more about “… don’t touch the animal..”? Obviously, if it’s safe to do so, one would want to drag the carcass off the road.

  • If your car strikes a deer, don’t touch the animal. If the deer is blocking the highway, call 911.

    i dont get this one

  • The most important is, if you see a deer, slow down. More often than not another is going to try crossing to be with the others. They by preference do not wait themselves, so you have to.

  • If one runs out, steer towards the animal.

  • This should be ANY TIME OF YEAR. In Spring/ early summer you have does with their young. Just because their is no ‘animal crossing’ sign doesn’t mean they aren’t there! Ag Land, just outside city limits or anywhere near a green belt/ larger hiking park. Often there are deer at the intersection of Harris and Harrison during all hours, trying to navigate the traffic where the green belt is chopped up. And just slow down! You are not going to get there any faster on the coast by speeding… maybe a minute or two but you just aren’t going to make time.

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