It’s rutting season and IAM Roadsmart has issued some sensible advice about the likely presence of deer on country roads this autumn.
As always, observation and anticipation are essential to safe driving.
According to Govuk, deer are at higher risk between sunset to midnight and also the hours before and after sunrise. October through to December is considered a high-risk period.
If you see warning signs for deer (or other wild animals), slow down and be on high alert. It is likely they will cross the road in this area.
Deer are herd animals so if you see one, it’s likely there are more. Stay vigilant, if one steps out in front of your car, more may follow.
Be prepared to stop and try to warn following drivers with early brake lights or hazard indicators.
Try not to swerve to avoid hitting deer. You may drive into a ditch or oncoming traffic.
You will most likely brake hard to avoid colliding with an animal, so be aware that traffic behind may not be as alert as you.
If you hit a deer or see an injured animal on the road or roadside, drive to a safe place and pull over, call the police and be precise about where the animal is located. Do not approach the animal – it may cause further injury or another accident
An IAM spokesman said: “A collision with something as large as a deer will be catastrophic. It will likely cause injury to vehicle occupants and itself. It will definitely cause damage to your vehicle, even if it’s as small as a Muntjac. Slow down a little and remember we are sharing the wildlife’s habitat and not the other way around.”
Always worth considering taking an IAM Roadmart Advanced Course