Warning over deer on roads this autumn

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Published on 14 October 2019 by Mike Waters

Highways England is urging road users to watch out for deer on the roads during autumn.

There are approximately 1.5 million deer in the UK and studies cited by Highways England found that up to 1,000 people are injured in collisions with deer every year. The risk of deer-related accidents increases during autumn due to deer seeking new territories and often crossing roads to find them.

As the BMF has previously reported, Highways England and The Deer Initiative have teamed up to help spread awareness of the risks. It is estimated that there are up to 74,000 deer-related traffic accidents each year in the UK, but you can take steps to avoid them:

  • The peak seasons for deer migration are October-December and the highest risk times are from sunset to midnight and in the hours shortly before and after sunrise. Be extra vigilant during these times.
  • Deer often gather in large groups, so avoiding one doesn’t mean you’ve avoided all of them. More may follow, so stay aware.
  • When you can, keep your headlights on full beam but, if you see a deer, dim them immediately – otherwise they could ‘freeze’ in the light instead of moving on.

For more information on deer-related accidents, tips on how to avoid being in one and what to do if you’re involved in one, visit the Deer Aware website here.

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