JACKSON, MS (WDAM) - The Mississippi Department of Transportation warned drivers of the dangers deer season can present to drivers this time of the year and offered a few tips for safer driving.
As fall begins and deer begin to move and often find their ways to Mississippi's roadways. A combination of higher traffic volumes, higher vehicle speed and shorter daylight hours can become deadly and drive up vehicle-deer crashes.
"Mississippi averages over 3,000 deer-related crashes per year," said MDOT executive director Melinda McGrath. "Hitting a deer can be a very costly expense and sometimes it can be a life-threatening accident."
Though there is no way to control deer movement, there are ways you can minimize the chances of a collision. MDOT offered the following tips:
- DO NOT SWERVE if a deer runs in front of a moving car. Swerving can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicle, causing an even more serious accident.
- Deer are pack animals. Take extra caution for deer lingering around in the same area.
- Pay attention when driving at dawn and dusk. About 20 percent of crashes occur in early morning, while more than half occur between 5 p.m. and midnight.
- Always buckle up for safety and drive at a safe, sensible speed.
- At night use high beams, when no traffic is approaching, to illuminate the eyes of deer near the road. Make sure both headlights and high beams are cleaned and aimed correctly.
"No matter if a driver is traveling rural roads or busy highways, the threat of hitting a deer while driving is very real," McGrath said. "All motorists should take extra precautions during deer season to ensure their safety while traveling."
Motorists should also avoid distracted driving and should always buckle up. For more information, visit GoMDOT.com/drivesmartms.