Virginia Dept. of Wildlife Resources shares tips to avoid hitting a deer on the road this fall

Photo by Divide By Zero on Unsplash (Unsplash)

Fall is here! Along with the beautiful colors and falling leaves comes an increased number of deer on the roadways.

The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources said the fall season is the breeding season for white-tailed deer, so deer are more active in the November and December months than at any other time of the year.

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According to the Virginia DWR, deer take advantage of roadside edges for foraging, especially as other fall foods become limited.

As the days get shorter, more drivers will be driving in the dark, increasing their likelihood of encountering a deer on the road.

The Virginia DWR is sharing the following tips to avoid hitting a deer while driving:

  • Slow down and be attentive, particularly at night (from dusk to dawn).
  • If you see one deer, slow down and watch out for others. Deer frequently travel in family groups.
  • Deer habitually travel and crossroads in the same areas.  Use caution when you see deer crossing signs installed in these areas by the Virginia Department of Transportation.
  • Apply brakes, even stop if necessary, to avoid hitting a deer, but do not swerve out of the lane to miss a deer. A collision with another vehicle, tree or other object is likely to be more serious than hitting a deer.
  • Always wear a seat belt!  Even if a collision is unavoidable, you are more likely to avoid injury or death if you are wearing a seat belt.
  • If you hit or kill a deer or bear while driving, immediately report the accident to a local law enforcement officer in the county or city where the accident occurred.
  • If you kill a deer or bear while driving, you may keep it for your own use if you report the accident to a local law enforcement officer where the accident occurred and the officer (or Conservation Police Officer) views the animal and gives you a possession certificate.

You can find more information in the video below.

About the Author:

Lauren Helkowski joined WSLS 10’s digital team in August 2022, but has held a passion for storytelling long before.