Top areas for reported Deer Vehicle Collisions
Across the UK it's estimated there could be between 40,000 - 74,000 deer-related motor vehicle accidents, resulting in several hundred human injuries and several human fatalities each year. Deer Vehicle Collisions (DVCs) are very widespread throughout almost all parts of England as well as increasing parts of Wales.
The Deer Initiative’s (DI) research of reported Deer Vehicle Collisions for England and Wales 2008 2013 has been released listing the top areas:
Locations of reported deer road casualties and related DVCs (grey stars). The most prominent clusters across the country where highest localised tolls of deer incidents have been recorded per 5km tetrad are highlighted in red.
The DI together with the Highways Agency is reminding motorists to be ‘Deer Aware’ as collisions between deer and vehicles increase in England and Wales at this time of year. October through to December is considered a high-risk time as many deer will be on the move to and from rutting grounds during the autumn mating season.
Dr Jochen Langbein, who has been working with the DI on Deer Vehicle Collisions (DVCs) for the past 10 years, said: “Aside from the surge in activity by our three largest deer species (fallow, sika and red deer) during their autumn rut, as days shorten and the clocks go back, peak traffic times also coincide with dawn and dusk when activity of all deer species is at its daily peak”.
For a fuller list of road names or areas with the highest number of DVC reports please visit the Deer Initiative website www.thedeerinitiative.co.uk
Be Deer Aware: Top tips are:
• Be aware that further deer may well cross after the one you may have noticed, as deer will more often move around in groups than alone.
• After dark, do use full-beams when there is no opposing traffic. The headlight beam will illuminate the eyes of deer on or near a roadway and provide greater driver reaction time. BUT, when a deer or other animals is noted on the road, dim your headlights as animals startled by the beam may ‘freeze’ rather than leaving the road.
• Don’t over-swerve to avoid a deer. If a collision with the animal seems inevitable, then hit it while maintaining full control of your car. The alternative of swerving into oncoming traffic or a ditch could be even worse. An exception here may be motorcyclists, who are at particular risk when in direct collisions with animals.
• Only break sharply and stop if there is no danger of being hit by following traffic. Try to come to stop as far in front of the animal(s) as possible to enable it to leave the roadside without panic.
• Report any deer-vehicle collisions to the police, who will contact the local person who can best help with an injured deer at the roadside. Do not approach an injured deer yourself it may be dangerous.
If you wish to report a Deer Vehicle Collision or to find out more on safety advice please visit www.deeraware.com