Derbyshire’s drivers are being warned to look out for deer roaming on to the county’s roads and posing risks to road users.
At this time of year, deer collisions peak as many of the animals cross roads seeking new territories. The highest risk of collisions is between sunset and midnight, and the hours shortly before and after sunrise.
Ashley Knott, Derbyshire police’s Traffic Management officer, explains: “Wild animals have no road sense. Signs to warn drivers are placed at locations where the animals are known to be active and are likely to cross. Our advice is to slow down and anticipate the risk. This will give you more time to react should deer be on or alongside the road.”
Motorists are asked to be alert wherever they are travelling across Derbyshire’s road network, not just on rural roads. In recent years, incidents involving deer and other livestock have been reported on major routes too.
Highways England has teamed up with The Deer Initiative to give the following advice to drivers, involved in a collision with a deer:
If you hit a deer when driving, your priorities in this order are:
keep yourself and anyone with you as safe as you can
park your car in the safest place with hazard lights on
call an ambulance if human injuries warrant it
call the police, giving as precise a location as you can
Usually it is best not to approach live deer. Doing so may cause them to run across traffic causing another accident.
If you see an injured deer on the roadside:
pull over at the next safe place.
call the police and they will deal with road safety issues. They also have access to a specialist who will know the best course of action for the animal if it is alive.
Ashley Knott continues: “There are several things drivers can do to reduce the risk when travelling around dawn or dusk. If your headlights are on, use full-beams when you can, but dip them if you see deer as they may ‘freeze’ on the spot instead of leaving the road. Also, if you see a deer, look out for others. They generally roam in herds and follow each other quite closely.”