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With Deer Mating Season Approaching,Drivers Beware
With the way the critters have taken up residence in many parts of Harford County in recent years, you may have
noticed an increase in deer activity either on your property or on the area roadways.But this time of year, however, is the beginning of the most dangerous time of theyear for the bad combination of drivers and deer.
As white-tail deer mating season and colder months approach, officials from theMaryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said motorists should takeprecautions and be on the lookout for deer while driving.
Pete Jayne, associate director of game management for DNR, said deer are moreactive this time of year because of the rut, deer breeding season, and colder temperatures are causing deer to feed more frequently.
Jayne said mating season begins mid-October and peaks in the first two weeks of November. He said historically November is the highest peak of deer-related car crashes during the year.
"Deer are naturally more active during periods of low light: in the late evening and early morning," Jayne said. "Theseare the times to be particularly alert for deer."
Jayne said motorists should take heed to deer crossing signs as they travel on roadways to avoid contact with deer. Hesaid drivers should use their peripheral vision to scan the shoulder lanes for glowing eyes since typically deer's eyesreflect light from vehicle headlights.
Officials at the Maryland St
ate Highway Administration
said you should never veer for deer
"Collisions with deer are not always avoidable, but there are steps drivers can take to reduce the chance of a deer strike," SHA Administrator Melinda B. Peters said in a statement. "For your own safety and that of other drivers,never veer for deer. We see crashes where drivers lose control and vehicles have gone off the road, often severelyinjuring the passengers."
Jayne said if you are coming in contact with a deer, a driver may lift their foot off the brake so the vehicle rises up.
"You don't want to run the deer into your windshield," Jayne said. "Most driver injuries and deaths come from a deer running into the windshield."
Officials from the SHA caution people against approaching an injured animal. Instead, the driver should turn on their hazard lights, safely pull to the side of the road and call police. Deer typically travel in herds, so if you see one deer, be on the lookout for the rest of them
.Marylanders experience about 30,000 deer-related crashes annually, Jayne said. According to statistics gathered fromState Farm Insurance,in 2012 Maryland ranked 14th in the nation for deer-related crashes.
(Source: exploreharford.com, by Krishna Davis.Photo
Matt Button | aegis file photo, Patuxent Homestead / November 3, 2011. Some changes were made.)
October 18, 2013