Hunting season starts Saturday and that means drivers need to pay close attention to the roadways for deer.
AAA Spokeswoman Kimberly Schwind said there were about 21,000 collisions with deer in Ohio in 2012 alone, with 5,000 of those accidents happening in November. And there are three main reasons for the increase.
"We have the hunting season that’s going to be starting. We also have the farmer’s harvesting the fields which means more deer are going to be running through the fields and into the road. We also have their mating season which happens as we get into the late fall and early winter," said Schwind. "So these three factors really mean that we are going to be seeing more deer and drivers are really going to have to pay close attention."
Drivers should pay close attention at dawn and dusk, since those are the times of day deer are most active. You should also scan the road ahead of you, use your high beams when there is no oncoming traffic. Always wear your seatbelt, remain alert and sober to prevent an accident.
"If a collision is imminent, nobody wants to hit the animal but the best thing that you can do is to apply the brakes and stay in your lane. If you swerve to miss the deer, you can actually cause a more serious crash. You can even spin out. So you know, you really have to pay attention to try and minimize these collisions but sometimes they’re just inevitable. So do not swerve to miss the animal. Instead, apply your brakes, that will help prevent a more serious crash."
You should contact your insurance agent to see if you are covered with a comprehensive insurance policy, which covers deer collisions. Although colliding with a deer is rarely fatal for the driver, Schwind says now is not the time to be a distracted driver.