INDOT reminds drivers to stay alert during fall months

("White Tailed Buck" by Larry Smith, CC BY 2.0)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): The chances of hitting a deer skyrocket during the fall months.

The Indiana Department of Transportation, Indiana State Police and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources wants to remind drivers to stay alert during the fall months because that is when deer are most active.

About 50 percent of all crashes involving deer happen during October, November and December. Deer are more active during these months because many farmers are harvesting crops. In 2015, there were more than 15,000 deer-related crashes.
A list of tips from the Indiana Department of Transportation is below.

  • “Deer are most active between sunset and sunrise, especially in rural areas.
  • Deer often travel in groups. If you see one, others are likely nearby.
  • Pay special attention in areas where you have seen deer before and in areas near “Deer Crossing” warning signs.
  • Exercise caution along woodlot edges, at hills and blind turns.
  • Use high-beam headlights at night when there is no opposing traffic.
  • Scan for illuminated eyes and dark silhouettes near the side of or on the roadway.
  • If you see a deer, slow your speed drastically, even if the deer is far away.
  • Never swerve to avoid hitting a deer. More serious crashes occur when drivers try to miss a deer but hit something else.
  • Buckle up!”

Drivers who do hit a deer should remain calm. Driver shouldn’t touch or approach deer because wounded deer are unpredictable. Drivers should pull off the road, remain in the vehicle and make sure everyone is safe.
Residents are asked to call police and report the crash if someone is injured or there is at least $1,000 worth of damage. To report a dead deer on a road, call INDOT.

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