COLUMBUS (WCMH) — It’s currently deer mating season and The Ohio State Highway Patrol says last year, more than 4,200 deer crashes happened on our state’s roadways in November.
Police say these accidents happen mostly between dawn and dusk.
So you’re driving and a deer jumps out in front of you, your initial reaction may be to swerve out of the way. But troopers say that’s not the safest move.
“Most likely it’ll be at night You may not see a tree that’s along the side of the road, a fence post, maybe another parked vehicle,” said Lieutenant Robert Sellers, Public Affairs Commander at The Ohio State Highway Patrol.
“You never want to swerve because lots of times they do they end up hitting a tree, going over an embankment and overturning which is far worse than actually striking an animal itself,” said Sergeant Travis Woodyard. “A girl was adjusting her radio she looked back up and there was a deer in front of her she swerved to miss it and then she rolled her car multiple times obviously that’s not what you want to do.”
According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety, there were more than 18,400 deer-related crashes in 2016.
So what should you do?
“If you see a deer in the roadway if you have a chance to see it, the best thing to do is slow down the best you can. If you can’t avoid hitting it, then hopefully you got slowed down enough before you make impact,” says Sergeant Woodyard.
Lieutenant Sellers says once you find a safe area to pull over, turn on your hazards, call 911 and stay in your vehicle.
“Do not approach the animal. You don’t know if it’s injured you don’t want to startle it, and we also don’t want you to get hit by another passing car. Let us get out there and get a report that way it can be documented so that you can get your car fixed properly,” said Sellers
Since deer are more active at dawn and dusk so you can also use your high beams while on the road when there is no oncoming traffic.