LUFKIN - Approaching deer season accompanied by cooler weather causes more deer to be on the move. TxDOT wants to remind drivers of the dangers of deer on the roadways and how quickly they can run in front of a moving vehicle.
Motorists are urged to be attentive, especially just after sunset and the hours just before sunrise. These times are when the most deer versus vehicle collisions occur. Pay attention to road signs that indicate a heavy wildlife population in the area and reduce speed where deer have been known to cross. These areas are generally in unpopulated areas and near agricultural or forestlands.
"We have already seen several deer hits this year," said Rhonda Oaks, spokesperson for the Lufkin District. "Because wildlife is so much more active this time of year, we urge motorists to stay alert, especially during the dusk and pre-dawn hours when they are known to move around more."
Safety tips to remember that could help motorists avoid a deer versus vehicle accident include:
* Deer seldom run alone. If you see one deer, others could be nearby. Reduce speed if you see a deer near the roadway.
* When driving at night, use high beam headlights when there is no oncoming traffic. The high beams will better illuminate the eyes of the deer.
* Slow down and blow your horn with one long blast to frighten the deer.
* Brake firmly when you notice a deer in or near your path, but stay in your lane. Many serious crashes occur when drivers swerve to avoid hitting a deer.
* Always wear your seat belt.
* If your vehicle strikes a deer, do not touch the animal. A frightened and wounded deer can hurt you or further injure itself. Move your car off the road, if possible, and call 911.
For more information, contact
Rhonda.Oaks@txdot.gov<mailto:Rhonda.OaksDonaldson@txdot.gov> or (936) 633-4395.