ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) is reminding motorists it is that time of year again — time to watch out for white deer.
“Deer movement increases during the fall, making it all the more important for motorists to drive defensively and stay alert, especially at dawn and dusk, to reduce the risk of striking a deer,” said Southern District Transportation Commissioner Tom King. “Deer move around and travel greater distances during breeding season as they are more active between sunset and sunrise.”
Over the past five years, Mississippi has averaged 3,178 deer related crashes per year. The increase in vehicle-deer crashes in the fall and winter months is partially a result of higher traffic volumes, higher vehicle speed and the reduction in daylight hours.
MDOT advises motorists to use these safe-driving tips to help avoid collisions with deer:
• Watch for deer and drive with extreme caution, especially in posted areas.
• If you see one deer near the road, slow down and expect that other deer will follow.
• Watch for deer, especially at dawn and after sunset. About 20 percent of these crashes occur in early morning, while more than half occur between 5 p.m. and midnight.
• Always buckle up for safety and drive at a safe, sensible speed.
• At night, use your high beam lights when no traffic is approaching. The high beams will illuminate the eyes of the deer on or near the highway.