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MDWFP and MDOT caution drivers during deer season

Photo courtesy of MDOT

Deer season is coming up and that also means that there will be more deer along the roadways. The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, along with MDOT wants to ensure that Mississippi drivers remain safe on the roads.

“As winter starts to set in the days get shorter you’re going to have more chance of seeing deer on your way home from work because the days are getting darker, so the deer tend to move more during that time,” said William McKinley, head of the deer program at the MS Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks.

Mississippi is ranked 10 in the nation for the likelihood of hitting a deer.

“Mississippi averages over 3,000 deer-related crashes per year,” said MDOT executive director Melinda McGrath. “Hitting a deer can be a very costly expense and sometimes it can be a life-threatening accident.”

McKinley said that Mississippi has one of the densest deer herds in the nation and encouraged drivers to be alert as they drive during the fall and winter season.”Be alert, stay off your phone especially don’t try to text while driving and watch out for deer’s eyes that glow,” said McKinley. “Watch out for deer on the side of the road. If you see deer on the side of the road slow down.”

“Be alert, stay off your phone especially don’t try to text while driving and watch out for deer’s eyes that glow,” said McKinley. “Watch out for deer on the side of the road. If you see deer on the side of the road slow down.”

McKinley said most deer get hit when multiple deer are crossing the road.

“The first deer may actually be looking at the traffic coming and try to beat it, the second or third deer quite often is simply looking to do what the deer in front of it did,” said McKinley. “So, if you see a deer cross the road, slow down because there’s a good chance that there’s more.”

McKinley said that Mississippi has one of the densest deer herds in the nation and encouraged drivers to be alert as they drive during the fall and winter season.

Below are some tips from MDOT to avoid hitting a deer.

  • DO NOT SWERVE if a deer runs in front of a moving car. Swerving can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicle, causing an even more
    serious accident.
  • Deer are pack animals. Take extra caution for deer lingering around
    in the same area.
  • Pay attention when driving at dawn and dusk. About 20 percent of
    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 high beams, when no traffic is approaching, to
    illuminate the eyes of deer near the road. Make sure both headlights and
    high beams are cleaned and aimed correctly.

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