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Seasonal Deer Movements Raise Risk of Vehicle Collisions
Annapolis, Md. — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Wildlife & Heritage Service reminds citizens that the chilling air and changing foliage signal a new season, and a time of increased white-tailed deer activity. Motorists are urged to be alert to deer and other animals during this seasonal shift.
During the Fall breeding season adult deer increase their activity levels and enter a period of unpredictable behavior. Male deer are particularly prone to traveling in pursuit of female deer without concern for roadways and automobiles.
“Motorists need to be especially alert from sunset to dawn as deer will be more active after dark during this period of peak breeding behavior,” said Brian Eyler, Deer Project Leader for DNR’s Wildlife & Heritage Service.
DNR offers motorists the following tips to avoid a deer-vehicle collision:
- A deer standing near the road may suddenly leap in front of a moving vehicle. Slow down and sound your horn to scare the deer away from the road.
- If you see a deer crossing the road ahead, slow down and scan for more deer. Deer travel in groups; others may be nearby, but out of view.
- Slow down and brake to avoid hitting a deer, but do not swerve. Swerving may cause a driver to lose control of the vehicle thus increasing the chance of personal injury or death.
- Throughout the year, increase your awareness for deer in the hours of early morning and late afternoon. Deer commonly move between daytime resting areas to evening feeding locations. During the breeding season, pay particular attention if driving during nighttime hours.
- Be more alert and slow down in areas where deer-crossing highway signs are posted. These warning signs indicate locations of frequent deer crossings.
October 9, 2008
Contact: Olivia Campbell
410-260-8016 office I 410-507-7525 cell
Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 449,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov.