Thursday, November 24, 2005

Motorists should watch for deer on Mississippi roadways

During the months of October through December, approximately 70 percent of car-deer accidents occur due to the fact that deer are more active during this time of the year. However, these collisions can occur any month of the year, so always stay alert. The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) would like to take this opportunity to encourage motorists to be aware of deer on Mississippi roadways.

The deer population is on the rise across the country, and motorists can expect to see more of them on the roadways. Nationally, about 1.5 million people are involved in car-deer collisions each year and more than a hundred die as a result. Most people are very surprised at the devastating damage caused to vehicles during a car-deer collision, which can result in an average of $1,500 or more in damages.

The following are some interesting facts pertaining to driving safety during the deer season:

  • Most car-deer collision occurs between 6 p.m. and midnight, so be especially cautious during this time.
  • Most car-deer collision occurs on rural two-lane roadways.
  • Deer are found even in highly populated areas.
MDOT reminds all motorists to keep your eyes on the road, never drink and drive, always wear your safety seat belt and consider the following tips to avoid a car-deer collision:
  • Use special caution in areas marked with deer crossing signs.
  • If you see one deer, expect there will be others. Slow down and be alert.
  • Do not swerve your vehicle to avoid striking a deer. It is better to strike a deer than another vehicle or fixed object.
  • Continually scan the fields and area adjacent to the roadway for deer. Often you can see them approaching the roadway and slow down.
  • During hours of darkness, use your bright lights when no traffic is approaching. The high beams will illuminate the eyes of the deer on the roadway or approaching the roadway much sooner, allowing a greater reaction time.
  • Always drive at a safe speed.

For more information, please contact MDOT External Affairs Division at (601) 359-7017. Also, check the MDOT web site at for traffic alerts and other helpful information.

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