Tennessee Highway Patrol warns drivers of deer during Fall

Deer related crashes increase during the peak of mating and hunting season in November and December. (Image: MGN)

It is the peak of deer season and the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) reminds you to watch out for deer on the road while you are traveling.

THP says the increase in the crashes is because the peak of deer mating and hunting season is in November and December. This causes deer to be less aware and more likely to dart into traffic.

THP Colonel Tracy Trott says, “Deer pose a danger to motorists throughout the year, especially in the fall. Statistics show November is typically the worst month for deer-related crashes. It is important for motorists to exercise caution, slow down and remain alert in areas where deer are present.”

THP says deer-related accidents have increased 26.7 percent since 2011 across Tennessee. From 2015 to 2016, deer related crashes rose 3.8 percent. There have already been 4,223 incidents this year as of October 31st.

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security and THP suggest you keep these tips in mind when driving to help prevent deer related crashes:

  • When you see deer cross the road, expect more to follow. Many times, the second or third deer crossing becomes the one that motorists hit.
  • Pay attention and constantly scan the roadside, especially at dawn and dusk.
  • Do not swerve to avoid contact with deer. This could cause the vehicle to flip or veer into oncoming traffic causing a serious crash. Swerving can also confuse the deer as to where to run.
  • When you spot a deer, slow down immediately and pass with caution.
  • If you do collide with a deer, never approach the animal. They are powerful and can harm a human.
  • Report any deer related accident, even if the damage is minor. Move the vehicle as far off the road as possible and dial *THP (*847). You will be connected to the nearest THP communications center, and a state trooper will be dispatched to the location.
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