ZANESVILLE, OH – The Ohio State Highway Patrol wants to remind motorists that as the weather turns cooler, you are more likely to see deer on or along the roadway.
The end of fall is mating season for deer and they are often on the move. 44% of deer related crashes in Muskingum County occur between October 1st and December 31st. Time of day also plays a role in the likelihood of crashes.
“So the best thing to do, obviously we see a large amount of the crashes occurring during the dark hours. So it’s harder to see the deer standing along the roadside. Sometimes during the day you can see the deer along the roadside, it gives you the opportunity to slow down and be aware that the deer are in the area. At night time that doesn’t happen… Use your high beams, so your high beams are on your vehicle for a reason. As long as there’s no oncoming traffic, utilize the high beams so you can see further out, and maybe see that deer before it jumps out in front of you on the roadway,” OSHP Sergeant Nathan Dennis said.
Most deer related accidents occur on secondary roadways, such as State Rout 60 or US 22. Sergeant Dennis shares tips on what to do if you find yourself head on with a deer.
“Just something important to keep in mind when it comes to deer collisions is when a deer does jump out in front of you just tap your brakes, try to slow down but do not swerve to miss that deer. One of the biggest mistakes drivers make is swerving to miss an animal that’s in the roadway and what happens is that results in another crash such as, going off the roadway and striking a utility pole or tree, or possibly overturning your vehicle. Another important thing to keep in mind is ensure you’re always buckling up, every trip every time. If something like this does occur, seat belts do save lives.”
If you have struck a deer the Highway Patrol suggests you move your vehicle as far off the roadway as possible, activate your hazard lights, and dial #677 for your nearest Highway Patrol Post so an officer can take a report.