9 driving tips for motorists during deer season

Ohio Department of Public Safety

* Drive with extreme caution, at or below the posted speed limit, in areas with deer-crossing signs.

* Most crashes occur in the months of October through December.

* Highest-risk periods are from sunset to midnight, followed by the hours shortly before and after sunrise.

* If you see one deer on or near a roadway, expect others to follow. Slow down and be alert.

* Stay alert. Deer are always unpredictable. They often dart out into traffic on busy highways.

* After dark, use high beams when there is no opposing traffic. High beams will illuminate the eyes of deer on or near a roadway and provide greater motorist reaction time. Don’t rely solely on high beams to deter collisions.

* Always wear a seat belt and drive at a safe, sensible speed for conditions.

* If a collision with a deer seems probable, brake firmly and stay in your lane while maintaining full control of your vehicle, even if it means hitting the deer. Don’t swerve your vehicle to avoid striking a deer. The alternative (hitting another vehicle, running off the road, etc.) could be even worse. Also, drivers who swerve to miss a deer and hit something else may be charged for an at-fault accident.

* Report any deer-vehicle collisions to a local law enforcement agency (such as the Ohio State Highway Patrol) or a state wildlife officer within 24 hours. Note: Under Ohio law, the driver of a vehicle that strikes and kills a deer may take possession of it by first obtaining a deer possession receipt (available from law enforcement or state wildlife officers).


Ohio Department of Public Safety