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PennDOT Warns of Increased Deer Danger

The state agency says most car accidents involving deer happen at this time of year.

Deer are an animal that's often admired from afar; especially in states like Pennsylvania, where more than 3,000 vehicle accidents involving deer occurred in 2010 alone.

According to an informational Nov. 2 news release from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), those crashes resulted in more than 600 injuries and eight fatalities.

The months of October and November are particularly dangerous for motorists, as breeding season, harvesting and hunting combine to make the animals more active, particularly between the hours of 5pm and 7am.

"PennDOT statistics show nearly half of all reportable crashes in the past five years involving deer occurred in the months of October and November, with nearly 77 percent taking place between 5pm and 7am," the news release states.

To reduce the risk of striking a deer, PennDOT recommends that motorists drive more slowly and "be especially cautious during morning and evening hours."

Drivers should also keep in mind that deer often travel in herds, so if one is spotted, there is a high likelihood that others may be in the immediate vicinity.

"Motorists should also increase following distance between vehicles, especially where deer-crossing signs are posted," PennDOT says.

Drivers can also call 1-800-FIX-ROAD to report a dead deer.

For more information about fall safety tips for motorists, visit www.DriveSafePA.org.

Mary Anne Looby November 08, 2011 at 04:46 PM
Living in LST you learn to share the road with the deer. We love having these beautiful creatures in our environment. We only had one encounter with a randy buck years ago. We saw him and stopped and waited to see what he would do. He was with his ladies. After waiting for what seemed to be ages, we slowly started to move and he turned and leaped right at us. Fortunately we were barely moving and he just took out the mirror on the car. They can be very unpredictable, especially during mating season.
Mary Anne Looby November 08, 2011 at 04:50 PM
I have another comment regarding the deer in our area. During our 20 years living here we have had kids get their licenses. We always told them when driving at night in LST to use their highbeams so that they can really see any dangers. Late one night our son was driving home with his highbeams on and one of our LST officers stopped him and gave him a ticket. Left a bad taste for a long time!

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