White Tailed Deer begin breeding in October and continue through early December in Virginia. When searching for mates, deer tend to be more active and may be increasing in presence on the roadways. Vehicle and deer collisions can be serious accidents. Virginia has the 13th highest rate in the entire country for deer-vehicle crashes.
Deer are especially active in the morning and in the evening at dusk. Unfortunately, these times are often during Virginia commute times or travel to and from school or after school activities.
Driving with Deer
The Fairfax County Wildlife Management Specialist and Fairfax County Police have posted the following safety advice to keep you, your family and your car safe this season:
•Always wear your seat belt when in a vehicle.
•When driving, particularly at dusk and dawn, slow down and be attentive.
•Watch for eye shine along roadsides. Deer travel in herds. If you see one, others may be near.
•Use high beams when traffic permits to spot deer at a greater distance.
•Be aware of posted “Deer Crossing” signs. Signs are placed in areas known for high deer traffic and/or deer-vehicle collisions.
•If a deer is stopped in the roadway, reduce speed and flash your headlights. Deer can become mesmerized or blinded by bright steady lights.
•If a deer jumps in your vehicle’s path, continue to reduce speed and grasp steering wheel firmly with both hands.
•Never swerve to avoid deer on the road. Swerving can cause loss of control of your vehicle and greatly increase the chance of more serious damage or injury.
•Take foot off brake at time of impact. This action reduces the likelihood of deer crashing through a windshield or windows upon impact.
•Never depend on hood whistles, car horns, or other devices to scare deer out of your path. Several studies have shown that these methods do not always work.
Who to Call if you Hit a A Deer
Report collisions with deer to the Fairfax County Police Department (non-emergency) at 703-691-2131.