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Driving Force

Driving Force

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Be deer aware when driving during rutting season.

For the second year running, Highways England and The Deer Initiative have joined forces to warn motorists about the heightened risk of deer-vehicle collisions during autumn. Through to December is considered a high-risk period as deer will be on the move for the autumn mating season, also known as the rut. The highest risk of a deer-vehicle collision is between sunset and midnight, and the hours shortly before and after sunrise.
Across the UK it is estimated that there could be up to 74,000 deer-related motor vehicle accidents this year alone, resulting in 400-700 human injuries and 20 deaths. There are some two million deer living wild in the UK.
Senior Principal Environmental Advisor at Highways England, Tony Sangwine, said: “Safety is our top priority, which is why we care about people’s journeys. We are working with The Deer Initiative to warn motorists about the risks caused by deer, when they suddenly appear on the road, particularly at both dawn and dusk.
“With most deer movement coinciding with key commuting hours, we are urging drivers to be more aware during this time of year so that they can complete their journeys safely and without incident.”

Tips on staying safe:
• When you see deer warning signs or are travelling through a heavily wooded or forested stretch of road, check your speed and stay alert.
• If your headlights are on, use full-beam when you can, but dip them if you see deer, as they may ‘freeze’.
• More deer may follow the first one you see.
• Be prepared to stop. Try not to suddenly swerve to avoid a deer. Hitting oncoming traffic or another obstacle could be even worse.
• Do not approach an injured deer – it could be dangerous.
• If you are involved in a deer-vehicle collision and require assistance, contact the police. If you need to report a deer-vehicle collision or to find out more on safety advice, visit www.deeraware.com

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