Drivers told to watch out for deer as clocks go back

·2-min read

Drivers are being urged to be extra vigilant for deer on roads after the clocks go back on Sunday.

National Highways, the Government-owned company responsible for England’s motorways and major A roads, said there was a “substantial increase” in the risk of vehicles hitting deer between October and December.

This is due to a combination of poorer driving conditions, fewer daylight hours and the annual breeding season.

The DeerAware campaign estimates there are up to 74,000 deer-related traffic accidents in the UK each year, and the risk increases after the clocks change at the end of October.

That is because drivers are more likely to be on the road when deer are most active, from sunset to midnight and the hours before and after sunrise.

Jeremy Phillips, National Highways head of road user safety, said: “As the clocks go back this weekend, journeys next week may feel different for many drivers even on familiar routes.

“This time of year we see an increase in the number of deer collisions and our advice is to take care while driving and look out for deer.”

Motorists are advised to check their speed and stay alert, particularly when they see a deer warning sign or when driving on a woodland or forest road.

They should dip full beam headlights if they see deer as the animals may freeze on the spot instead of leaving the road.

But they are urged not to suddenly swerve to avoid a deer as hitting oncoming traffic or another obstacle could lead to a more serious crash.

Department for Transport figures show 12 people were killed and a further 192 were seriously injured in accidents on Britain’s roads last year in which an animal or object in the carriageway was a contributory factor.

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