Highway Patrol Reminds Area Drivers to Watch for Deer on Roadways
The Missouri State Highway Patrol is reminding area drivers that deer are more active this time of year and can create hazards for Missouri motorists.
According to a press release from the MSHP, last year drivers in Missouri experienced 4,604 traffic crashes involving deer. Of those crashes, there were six fatalities and 455 people injured.
The Highway Patrol says drivers attempting to avoid striking a deer could result in a more serious crash, involving oncoming traffic. One of the tips the highway patrol is offering is to remain calm. Panicking and overreacting usually lead to more serious traffic crashes. The majority of deer strike crashes occur in October and November each year, with the largest number taking place in November. Although deer strikes can occur at any time, most occur between the hours of 5 p.m. and 6:59 a.m, according to the patrol.
Deer often travel in groups and drivers should stay on-guard after a close call or when seeing a single deer. Natural features also affect deer movement. In areas where there are streams or wooded corridors surrounded by farmland, look for more deer to cross roadways.
The MO Department of Conservation says deer behavior changes due to mating season, which may cause an increase in sightings and roadway crossings. Hunting and crop harvesting may result in the animals being in places they aren’t usually seen. Drivers are urged to remain alert.