Sheriff Offers Tips To Avoid Vehicle-deer Accidents

MAYVILLE – Deer mating and migration season is here and the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office is warning motorists to take extra caution to avoid deer-car accidents over the next few months.
November is the peak month for car-deer accidents in Chautauqua County, the sheriff’s office warns in a statement.
Here are some tips you can use to avoid hitting deer:
Slowing down is one of the most effective ways to avoid car-deer collisions. Be aware of posted deer crossing signs. These are placed in active deer crossing areas.
• Scan the sides of the road looking for deer activity.
• Remember that deer are most active between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
• Use high beam headlamps as much as possible at night to illuminate the areas from which deer will enter roadways.
• Keep in mind that deer generally travel in herds – if you see one, there is a strong possibility others are nearby.
• Do not rely on car-mounted deer whistles.
• If a deer collision seems inevitable, trying to swerve out of the way could make you lose control of your vehicle or move into the path of an oncoming vehicle, tree or other fixed object.
If a crash is unavoidable:
• Don’t swerve. Brake firmly, stay in your lane, hold onto the steering wheel and bring your vehicle to a controlled stop.
• Pull off the road. Turn on your emergency flashers and be cautious of other traffic if you leave your vehicle.
• Don’t attempt to remove a deer from the roadway unless you are convinced it is dead. An injured deer’s sharp hooves can easily hurt you.
• Report the crash to the nearest police agency and your insurance agent. Car-deer crashes are typically covered under the comprehensive portion of the insurance policy.
• Police officers may issue you a permit if you want to keep the deer.