DNREC's Division of Fish and Wildlife would like to remind Delaware motorists to remain alert for crossing roadways due to daylight savings time changes on Nov. 3.
The average white-tailed deer in Delaware weighs about 130 pounds, with larger bucks tipping the scales at 180 pounds or more. Hitting an animal that size can do serious and expensive damage to your vehicle. Such a collision may also cause injury to you or your passengers or trigger an accident involving you and other motorists.
In 2012, Delaware police departments logged a statewide total of more than 1,000 deer-vehicle crashes, which resulted in one fatality, 56 personal injuries and more than 900 property damage-only cases. For 2013 through September, 591 deer-related crashes have been reported, with no fatalities, 50 personal injuries and 541 property damage-only cases.
Here are some tips for motorists to keep in mind:
- Turn your headlights on at dawn and dusk and keep your eyes on the road, scanning the sides of the road as well as what’s ahead of you. When there is no oncoming traffic, switch to high beams to better reflect the eyes of deer on or near the roadway. To reduce your risk of injury in a collision, always wear your seat-belt.
- Be especially aware of any distractions that might take your eyes off the road, even if only momentarily, such as cell phones, adjusting the radio, eating or passenger activities.
- Watch for deer crossing signs that mark commonly-traveled areas, and be aware that deer typically cross between areas of cover, such as woods or where roads divide agricultural fields from woods.
- Do not swerve to miss a deer – brake and stay in your lane. Losing control of your vehicle, crossing into another lane, hitting an oncoming vehicle or leaving the roadway and hitting another obstacle such as a tree or a pole is likely to be much more serious than hitting a deer.
- If you hit a deer, stop at the scene, get your car off the road if possible and call police. Do not touch the animal or get too close.
Page 2 of 2 -