A leading road safety organisation has highlighted the dangers of veering off the road if a deer is spotted ahead.
The breeding season for deer means that the animals are more mobile than usual and often sees them roaming closer to roads where the risk of collision is far greater.
GEM Motoring Assist is asking drivers to take more care where deer are common, with experts believing that the UK’s deer population sits at around two million. Research from the RSPCA shows that around 75,000 deer are involved in a collision with a vehicle each year, with 10,000 killed instantly.
It is believed that between 10 and 20 people each year are fatally injured because of deer collisions, while damage to vehicles is estimated to be ‘at least’ £11 million.
Neil Worth, GEM chief executive, says: “We encourage drivers to be extra observant, but we recommend that you ‘don’t veer for a deer’, purely because of the risks that go with a sudden change of direction while driving.
“Periods of highest deer activity tend to occur at dawn and dusk, coinciding with the morning and evening rush hour, increasing collision risks in areas where deer are common.”
Drivers are being advised to reduce speed as much as possible and steer straight ahead if a deer jumps out in front of them. By avoiding the temptation to veer, drivers keep control of their vehicle and lower the risk of the car running off the carriageway.
Motorists can also lower the risk of collision by scanning ditches at either side as well as the road ahead. If you spot a few deer, then there’s a high chance that more are present too – so slow down and be even more vigilant.