Officials with the Tennessee Highway Patrol are asking drivers to be extra careful on state roads over next couple of months, which is deer mating season.
The months of November and December carry a higher risk of crashes caused by deer due to factors like deer mating and hunting season.
During mating season, officials point out that deer are less aware of their surroundings and can run out in front of vehicles without warning, especially in more rural areas.
Deer tend to move around during the hours around dawn and dusk and officials caution that when you see one, you are likely to see at least one more in hot pursuit.
Nationally, deer cause about 1.5 million crashes every year, with about 200 people killed and many more injured in accident involving deer.
The THP offers these tips to help prevent deer-related crashes:
- When you see deer cross the road, expect more to follow. Many times, it’s the second or third deer crossing that motorists hit.
- Be attentive and drive defensively constantly scanning the roadside, especially at dawn and dusk.
- Do not swerve to avoid contact with deer. This could cause the vehicle to flip or veer into oncoming traffic causing a serious crash. Swerving can also confuse the deer as to where to run, according to the THP.
- When you spot a deer, slow down and proceed with caution while passing.
- If you do collide with a deer, never approach it. They are powerful animals and can cause serious injuries to people. Report any deer collision, even if the damage to your vehicle is minor.
State law does allow people to take home a deer hit and killed by a vehicle for food as long as they contact their local TWRA regional office and report the accident within 48 hours.