For informational/historical purposes only.

Ohio Department of Transportation

Internet News Release

September 28, 2007

ODOT Warns Drivers to Watch Out for Deer
Look for the Signs to Stay Safe this Fall Season

COLUMBUS (September 28, 2007) The autumn season often brings the highest number of deer-vehicle crashes, warns the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), and drivers need to stay alert and watch for deer-crossing warning signs to stay safe.

The number of deer-vehicle crashes typically spikes each year from October to December. According to ODOTs statewide crash analysis, the number of deer-vehicle crashes average 1,500 per month from January to September. The number jumps to approximately 4,700 per month from October to December.

In 2006, there were a total of 28,227 deer-vehicle crashes, including 12 fatalities and 1,187 people injured. Because many deer-vehicle collisions go unreported to authorities, the actual number of crashes throughout Ohio may be as high as 60,000 each year.

Ohio has eight million drivers, 121,000 miles of roadway and 600,000 deer. Trying to predict when and where deer and motorists will meet is an impossible task. But drivers who understand how deer behave are more likely to avoid a deer-vehicle crash.

ODOT advises motorists to use these driving tips to help avoid collisions with deer:

  • Watch for deer-crossing signs and drive with extreme caution, especially in posted areas.
  • If you see a deer near the road, expect that others will follow.
  • Watch for deer near roadways especially at dawn and after sunset. About 20 percent of these crashes occur in early morning, while over half occur between 5 p.m. and midnight.
  • After dark, use high-beams when there isnt oncoming traffic. This will illuminate deer eyes, allowing more time to react.
  • Always wear safety belts, and drive at safe, sensible speeds for road conditions.

Deer make up the bulk of the 530,000 animal-related auto accidents reported in the United States annually, according to the Ohio Insurance Institute.