Halloween trick-or-treaters aren’t the only things motorists must be aware of as the weather turns colder.
Missouri ranks as one of the highest deer-vehicle collision states in the nation. Last year, nearly 3,890 drivers encountered accidents involving deer, with five fatalities and 411 injuries.
Although a productive hunting season can cut a sizeable chunk out of the deer population, the deer are beginning to move around with the cooler temperatures, and there are a few things you can do to help avoid a collision.
Deer are moving for several reasons. The bucks are searching for mates and many times are in pursuit, so they may cross the road quickly chasing after a doe or challenging another buck.
Farming crops are nearing harvest, which will motivate deer to search elsewhere for food, especially in clearings.
The best advice if you notice a deer on or near the roadway is not to sound your horn. Simply slow down or stop until the deer passes. Try not to slam on your brakes to avoid swerving off the road or into another deer.
Be aware that there is often more than one deer crossing your path. If you see one cross the road, wait if possible to allow the next one or two that may be right behind them.
Use your high beam headlights as much as possible while driving at night.
Some encounters with deer are unavoidable. Be aware, stay alert, slow down and buckle up. Report deer collisions to local law enforcement or the Missouri Highway Patrol. Never approach a deer hit by a car as they may be only injured or stunned and they can seriously injure or even kill.
Always feel free to contact me throughout the year with any comments, questions, or issues by calling my office at (573) 751-5713 or by visiting my website at www.senate.mo.gov/brown.
Thank you for reading this and for your participation in state government.