Deer mating season is just around the corner and AAA reminds drivers to be on the lookout for animals on roadways across Oklahoma. October, November and December are the months when most animal collisions occur in the state. The rutting season for deer generally hits its peak in Oklahoma in early-to-mid-November.
Over the last two decades, an average of 110 Oklahomans have been killed or injured annually in collisions involving deer. Unfortunately, that number has been trending higher in recent years as expanding urban growth has been driving deer into more populated regions.
“We really need to be extra alert no matter what road we’re traveling, but especially in rural and wooded areas,” said Chuck Mai, spokesman for AAA Oklahoma. “Rush hours are also high risk times because they coincide with when deer are most active.”
Here are some timely crash-avoidance tips for motorists from AAA Oklahoma:
· If a deer-vehicle collision is unavoidable, don't swerve out of your lane. You may strike another car or lose control of your vehicle.
· Protect yourself by always wearing a seat belt and staying focused on driving.
· Reduce all distractions in the vehicle. Put down the phone.
· Keep your eyes moving and watch for animal movement, especially along the sides of roads.
· When there is no oncoming traffic, use high beams to spot animals more quickly.
· Slow down around curves and in general, drive more slowly.
· If you see one deer, it’s likely there are others nearby. Deer rarely travel alone.
· If an animal is in your path, give your car’s horn one long blast. This may frighten it away.
· Don’t go near any wounded deer or animals. They can be unpredictable and cause injury. If an animal is in the middle of the road or blocking traffic, call the police immediately.