With the fall season upon us, the Dover Police Department tends to respond to more accidents involving deer as a result of mating season amongst their population. In 2013, the Dover Police Department responded to 20 accidents involving deer. Of those 20 accidents, 10 of them occurred in the area of between McKee Road/College Road, and Scarborough Road and North DuPont Highway. Three others occurred in the area of Schutte Park, on Wyoming Mill Road. As of October 15th, 2014 the Dover Police Department has responded to 14 accidents involving deer in 2014. Two of those occurred in the area of between McKee Road/College Road, and Scarborough Road and North DuPont Highway. Three accidents also occurred in the are of Schutte Park, on Wyoming Mill Road as well. With the deer mating season just beginning and 2 1/2 months left in 2014, the department expects to surpass the 2013 totals relatively soon, but offers the following advice to drivers thanks to AAA Mid-Atlantic:
- Be especially attentive from sunset to midnight and during the hours shortly before and after sunrise. These are the highest risk times for deer-vehicle collisions.
- Drive with caution when traveling through deer-crossing zones, in areas known to have a large deer population and in areas where roads divide agricultural fields from forestland.
- Keep in mind that deer seldom travel alone. If you see one deer, others may be nearby.
- When driving at night, use high-beam headlights if there is no oncoming traffic. The high beams will better illuminate the eyes of deer on or near the roadway.
- Slow down and blow your horn with one long blast to frighten any deer away.
- Brake firmly when you spot a deer in or near your path, but stay in your lane. Many serious crashes occur when a driver swerves to avoid a deer and hits another vehicle or loses control of the car.
- Always wear your seat belt. Most people seriously injured in car-deer crashes were not wearing their seat belt.
- Do not rely on devices such as deer whistles, deer fences and reflectors to deter deer. These devices have not been proven to reduce deer-vehicle collisions.
- If your vehicle strikes a deer, don’t try to assist the animal. A frightened and wounded deer can hurt you or further injure itself. The best approach is to get your car off the road, if possible, and call the police and notify your fleet manager.