Take extra care to avoid collisions with deer during the rutting season

Posted on October 20th, 2014 by GEM Motoring Assist

GEM warns drivers and riders to take extra care to avoid collisions with deer during the rutting season


ROAD SAFETY organisation GEM Motoring Assist is calling on drivers to be extra vigilant at this time of year in areas where deer are common.

GEM chief executive David Williams says: “During this rutting season, deer are on the move and we are urging drivers to be careful. October is breeding time, and that means deer will be more prevalent.

“Deer are at their most active during the rutting season at dawn and dusk, so their activity coincides with times when the roads are at their busiest, through the morning and evening rush hours.”

It’s believed there’s a deer population in the UK of more than two million, and recent research1 shows around 75,000 are involved in vehicle collisions each year, with 10,000 killed instantly.

The human death toll from deer collisions ranges between 10 and 20 annually, and industry estimates put the cost of damage to vehicles alone to be at least £17 million.

GEM has issued the following advice for drivers to reduce risk from deer collisions:

  • Do take note of deer warning signs. These are placed in locations where wild animal crossings are likely, so keep your speed down and be ready to encounter a deer at very short notice.
  •  Stay alert. Scan the horizon as far ahead as you can for any possible deer movement, to give yourself time and space to avoid a collision or near miss.
  •  If you spot one animal, it’s likely there may be others following, so don’t speed up and assume the danger has passed.
  •  If you’re driving in the dark, dip your headlights when you spot a deer. It will be more likely to move off the road than if it ‘freezes’ in your full beam.
  •  Think about the right sort of avoiding action you could take as a car driver. Harsh though it may sound, GEM believes it is probably better to hit a deer head on than to swerve out of its way and risk a collision with oncoming traffic.
  •  If you’re riding a motorcycle, keeping to a safe speed is all-important, as any sort of collision will be potentially fatal for you, and sudden swerves can so often have catastrophic consequences.
  •  Ensure you have space to stop well away from a deer if possible.
  • GEM also recommends you take a look at the following new video from THINK UK on the subject of avoiding deer collisions: The video uses 3D scanning technology to allow viewers to ‘see’ through the bends on a country road and spot the dangers ahead.