It's deer breeding season: safety tips for drivers

10:39 AM, Nov 5, 2013   |    comments
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FAIRFAX, Va. (WUSA9) -- Fairfax County authorities want to remind everyone that it's deer breeding season, meaning there will be more deer on the roads.

Statistically, November and December have the highest number of crashes involving deer in Fairfax County, say authorities. In November 2012, there were 27 crashes involving deer and a total of 140 deer-related crashes over the entire year. So far, in November 2013, there have been 118 deer-related crashes.

The Fairfax County police urge drivers to remember these safety tips:

  1. "Watch for eye shine along roadsides. Deer travel in herds so if you see one, others may be near. Use high beams when traffic permits to spot them at a greater distance. Deer are most active between 6 and 9 pm. Deer crossing signs mark areas of high deer travel. Immediately begin to slow vehicle if you spot a deer.
  2. If a deer jumps in your vehicle's path, continue to reduce speed and grasp steering wheel firmly with both hands.
  3. If a deer is stopped in the roadway, reduce speed and flash your headlights. Deer can become mesmerized or blinded by bright steady lights.
  4. If a collision seems inevitable, attempting to swerve out of the way could cause loss of control and increase the chance of a more serious injury. This applies to all smaller animals, too.
  5. Never depend on hood whistles, car horns, or other devices to scare deer out of your path. Several studies have shown that these methods do not always work."

If a deer is injured or killed, call Fairfax County Police Department at 703-691-2131.

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