Ohio enters peak season for deer-related crashes

STAFF FILE PHOTO / Ty Greenlees
Caption
STAFF FILE PHOTO / Ty Greenlees

Motorists should keep their eyes peeled for four-legged friends as Ohio approaches the peak time for deer-related crashes.

Last year, there were 19,375 deer-related crashes in the state, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Four of those crashes were deadly and 996 people were injured. Forty-six percent of deer-related crashes took placed in October, November and December.

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“I encourage everyone to always be attentive while driving on Ohio’s roadways, especially during this peak time of year for deer-related crashes,” said Gov. Mike DeWine. “Always use your safety belt and never drive distracted.”

Most deer-related crashes occurred in northern Ohio, including Stark, Richland, Lorain, Trumbull and Hancock counties. U.S. 30, I-71 and I-80 led the state’s roads for crashes involving deer, according to OSHP.

“Always avoid distractions and keep your full focus on the roadway,” Col. Richard Fambro said. “If you see a deer slow down, but do not swerve. If you strike a deer, move to a safe place if you are able, turn on your hazard lights and report the crash.”

Deer are more active during the fall due to the breeding season, which is from October through November, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Breeding season can result in more pursuits between deer, ending with deer running onto the roadways.

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“Deer increase their daily movements in the fall months, but they are incredibly unpredictable,” ODNR wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker said. “The best advice to keep everyone safe is to stay alert and remember deer rarely run alone.”

To avoid deer and other wildlife-related crashes, motorists should do the following:

  • Scan the road ahead
  • Use brights and high beams when there is no oncoming traffic
  • Pay extra attention around dusk and dawn
  • If a crash can’t be avoided, apply brakes firmly and stay in your lane
  • Always wear a seat belt and stay awake, alert and sober

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