OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As the days get shorter in this fall season, experts are warning that you need to be aware of deer in the roadway.
According to AAA Oklahoma, there were more than 700 deer versus vehicle collisions in Oklahoma last year alone.
Two people were killed and nine were seriously injured.
“You’d be surprised where you can find a deer, especially right now, the fall,” said Kelly Adams, with The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. ‘They’re more active as they enter into the breeding season, also known as the rut.”
Deer are more active during dusk and dawn and as the days get shorter, experts warn that could be during your commute time.
So now more than ever drivers should avoid distractions.
“This is a time to protect yourself and your vehicle,” said Leslie Gamble, with AAA Oklahoma.
Experts warn that if you see one deer another is probably not too far behind.
“So be sure to slow down and look around before you continue,” Adams said.
Do not slam on your brakes if you know you’re going to hit it.
If you do hit your brakes hard, it pulls the front of the vehicle down, causing the animal to travel toward your windshield.
If you let off the brakes, it’s more likely to go to the side or top.
Also do not swerve to avoid a head-on collision or rollover.
“If you find yourself right up on a deer and feel like you’re going to hit it, try to lay on your horn,” said Gamble. “Sound your horn as long as you can so perhaps they’ll run away.”
If you hit a deer, you cannot take it for harvesting even during hunting season. Instead, it must be appropriate methods.
“So archery, muzzle-loader, rifle; car is not a legal mean of take,” Adams said.
If you hit and injure a deer, don’t approach it. Instead, call your local game warden, sheriff or local law enforcement.
If you have collision-only insurance, the minimum required in Oklahoma, hitting a deer won’t be covered.
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