CHARLOTTE, N.C. (October 12, 2017) – With more deer around the road during mating and hunting season, AAA Carolinas is urging motorists to take precaution to avoid collisions.
The “rut” season – or mating season – of deer typically runs from mid-October through mid-November. During this time, it is common for deer to lose their normally cautious manner, even in the middle of the day, as bucks chase does.
Because of this deviation in behavior, October, November and December are the worst months of the year for motor vehicle collisions with animals.
In 2016 in North Carolina there were 17,901 crashes reported from colliding with a deer – with the months of Oct-Dec counting for 47.5 percent of the crashes, according to NCDOT. In 2016 in South Carolina there were 2,460 crashes reported as a result of deer, according to SCDPS.
“The fall is a big season for the deer population in North and South Carolina,” said AAA Carolinas Foundation for Traffic Safety President Tiffany Wright. “With deer more apt to be on or around the roads, motorists need to be extra vigilant when driving. Visually make a continuous sweep of the road and give yourself room between other cars.”
AAA Carolinas encourages motorists to adhere to the following tips this deer season:
- Be especially attentive in the early morning and evening hours as many animals (namely deer) are most active from 5-8 a.m. and 5-8 p.m. – prime commuting times for most drivers.
- Use high beams when there is no oncoming traffic – your lights will often reflect off the animal’s eyes and reveal their location.
- Watch for water on the side of the road as it often attracts deer.
- If you spot a deer, slow down and watch for other deer to appear – as they rarely travel alone.
- As you slow down, blast your horn to frighten the animal away from the road.
- Brake firmly. Do not swerve or leave your lane as many crashes from deer are a result of hitting other cars
- Check with your insurance agent to make sure you have comprehensive coverage that includes animal collision.
In the event of a collision with an animal:
- Avoid making contact with the deer as a frightened or wounded animal can hurt you or further injure itself.
- Put your vehicle’s hazard lights on whether it is light or dark out.
- If possible, move the vehicle to a safe location, out of the road, as you wait for help to arrive.
- For insurance purposes, call your local law enforcement or highway patrol.
- To report an injured deer in North Carolina call the North Carolina Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Enforcement Division at (800)-662-7137. To report an injured deer in South Carolina call the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources office at (803) 734-3886 to locate a rehabilitator near you.
AAA Carolinas, an affiliate of the American Automobile Association, is a not-for-profit organization that serves more than 2.1 million member and the public with travel, automobile and insurance services while being an advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.